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JENKINTOWN, PA-Locally based American Financial Realty Trust has entered into an agreement to buy 21 vacant bank branch properties from Citibank (West) FSB, a subsidiary of Citigroup Inc., for an aggregate price of approximately $11.1 million. The branches are located in California and Nevada and are among 33 overlapping branches that were consolidated into adjacent ones following Citibank’s acquisition of California Federal Bank in 2002.

The portfolio includes seven owned properties and 14 others for which American Financial will assume Citibank’s leasehold interest. The closing is expected to take place later this month.

Nicholas S. Schorsch, American Financial’s CEO, says the transaction will enhance his firm’s west coast holdings and adds, “this illustrates how we can help banks better manage their real estate portfolios by facilitating strategic dispositions of their surplus assets.”

American Financial went public on June 30 this year, and the net proceeds from the IPO were about $740 million. Based on “expressions of interest” following the IPO, Schorsch says, “we believe that we are well positioned to continue to execute as anticipated on our business model to acquire properties leased to financial institutions.”

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