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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA -Investment firm W. P. Carey & Co. LLC acquired the national distribution center of Lillian Vernon Corp. for approximately $37 million. The sale-leaseback transaction was an instrumental part of the acquisition financing used by Ripplewood Holdings LLC, a private equity investor, and ZelnickMedia, a New York-based media company, to purchase Lillian Vernon, headquartered in Rye, NY, for $60.5 million.

The 827,000-sf facility, located here, serves as 52-year old national catalog and online retailer’s primary distribution and call center. It will be leased under a 20-year triple net lease with two, ten-year renewal options. The facility was purchased on behalf of Corporate Property Associates 15 Inc., a member of the $5 billion W. P. Carey Group of income generating REITs.

“This transaction is a good example of how sale-leaseback financing can be used by companies to raise capital,” offers Benjamin P. Harris, executive director of W. P. Carey. “In this case, Ripplewood used sale leaseback proceeds to fund the buyout of Lillian Vernon. This transaction helped Ripplewood convert a brick and mortar asset into working capital. We are pleased to work with the talented group at Ripplewood and are proud to add this facility to CPA®:15′s growing portfolio of properties.”

This latest acquisition adds to W. P. Carey’s growing managed portfolio of properties in Virginia, which consist of approximately 580,000 sf. The properties, owned by W. P. Carey & Co. LLC and its affiliates, include warehouse, distribution, office and retail facilities leased to Applied Power Inc., Best Buy Stores LP, Builders FirstSource Inc., Childtime Childcare Inc., Consolidated Theaters Inc,. McLane Foodservice, Penn Virginia Coal Co., Rochester Button Co. and The Roof Center Inc.

Ripplewood manages approximately $4 billion of committed capital through four institutional private equity funds, focusing primarily on investments in the U.S. and Japan. ZelnickMedia, is a partnership of media executives which owns interests in, advises, and manages an array of media enterprises in recorded music, magazine publishing, CD manufacturing, online games, and media-related software, both in the US and Asia.

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