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MCLEAN, VA-Automotive retail real estate financing firm Capital Automotive REIT has revealed news indicating a very successful quarter. The company has reported the completion of $83 million in property purchases for the first quarter of 2003, and about $100 million in property buys, to date. Acquisition activity for the first three months of the year surpassed, by a landslide, that of the last quarter of 2002 where the company made $52.6 million in purchases. “We have had an outstanding first five months of 2003,” notes Capital Automotive president and CEO Thomas D. Eckert. “We remain focused on our core strategy, which is to partner with the nation’s top automotive retailers.”

These automotive real estate purchases involve several states and even more franchises. For $54.3 million, Capital Automotive bought eight properties in Florida and Rhode Island leased to UnitedAuto Group Inc., accounting for 14 different brand franchises. And in return for handing over $26.2 million, the car REIT took on three properties leased to Asbury Automotive Group Inc subsidiaries. These properties, located in California, Georgia and North Carolina, will ultimately consist of three franchises. Capital Automotive will finance construction on two of the parcels, which will house Honda and Lexus franchises. Finally, the company will spend approximately $2.8 million on construction at properties with existing occupants.

“These acquisitions reinforce our strategy of doing repeat business with our existing tenants,” Eckert continues. The company relied on funds from a recent public equity offering, money borrowed from short-term credit facilities and available cash to finance the aforementioned acquisitions.

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