The new group is led by Executive Managing Director Daniel Riceand Managing Director Andy Begal. The Rice/Begal team hassuccessfully completed over $1.2 billion in retail and restaurantsale/ leasebacks including the Shopko-Pamida transaction for $815million.

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Begal tells GlobeSt. that the firm is currently in the processof finalizing fund raising details, but that Velocity Retail Groupwill build on its existing relationships with retailers and privateequity firms to search out acquisition opportunities. "We have alot of experience talking directly with companies rather thanwaiting for properties to go on the market," he says, indicatingthis is a main differentiator from other sale-leasebackinvestors.

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Velocity Retail will make acquisitions with funds raised fromboth high-net worth individuals and institutional equity, Begalsays. In particular, the firm's sale-leaseback group will beinterested in providing solutions for big box retailers, grocerychains, drug stores and restaurants.

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"The sale-leaseback platform allows us to expand our offeringsand to be a resource for our existing and future customers," saysDave Cheatham, principal of Velocity Retail Group. He tellsGlobeSt. that he talked with Rice and Begal for more than ninemonths to nail down the details of the new sale-leaseback group. Heexpects the new venture to focus on larger portfolios rather thanone-off transactions.

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