STAMFORD, CT-Just in time to benefit a corporation’s year-end bottom line, ICON International, a corporate finance barter company based here, has launched a program whereby corporations can rid themselves of excess commercial real estate, while helping a charitable organization.

ICON officials report that the firm has instituted a program in partnership with Save the Children, a non-profit international organization that helps disadvantaged children and families in more than 40 countries. Under the terms of the partnership, ICON will use its asset management expertise to turn companies’ commercial real-estate donations into tangible dollars for Save the Children programs.

If a company chooses to participate in the program, its real estate will be contributed to a special-purpose LLC formed between the donating company and ICON. The company then donates its ownership interest in the special-purpose LLC rather than the real estate itself to Save the Children. Save the Children receives a security rather than the actual real estate.

ICON officials note that it contributes capital and management expertise, including financing all costs associated with carrying, holding, and developing the real estate, if necessary, until it is sold. For Save the Children, having ICON act as the managing agent means it can avoid the costs and risks of accepting real-estate donations, they say.

“For more than a decade, ICON has been helping companies solve their real estate and distressed asset problems. This program adds a philanthropic dimension to our work and ties corporate giving to strategic objectives,” says Geoff Disston, director of real estate at ICON. “We are committed to Save the Children’s cause and look forward to lending our support.”

“Corporate philanthropy is on the rise. As companies look at alternate means of giving, we hope they will consider this program. It benefits all parties involved and makes it possible for us to continue the work we do on behalf of disadvantaged children and families here in the United States and around the world,” says Jane Birnbaum, senior manager of corporate marketing at Save the Children.

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