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BOSTON-CRIC Capital LLC has entered into a $65 million sale/leaseback deal with Apple American Group LLC for 26 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants. Apple American Group, the largest franchisee in the Applebee’s system, will lease back the restaurants under a 20-year, triple net lease.

The restaurants are located in Indiana, Ohio, Washington, Delaware and New Jersey. The deal is the latest in CRIC Capital’s program to acquire more than $400 million of single-tenant properties across the country. The locally based firm, which is a combination of Corporate Realty Investment Co. LLC and Prudential Real Estate Investors, the real estate investment and advisory business of Prudential Financial, invests in net leased and other credit real estate. CRIC says it plans to close several more transactions of this nature by year end.

“This deal hits a sweet spot for us,” says John Gregorits, principal of Prudential Real Estate Investors. “With a portfolio of multiple, smaller non-credit assets, our equity capital enables us to close quickly and efficiently offering the lessee a certainty of execution, which plays to one of our competitive advantages.”

Apple American Group, which currently employs approximately 5,200 people nationwide, is the tenth largest franchisee of any concept in the country. Apple American Group generated total sales of $195 million in 2002, and expects to generate total sales of $218 million in 2003.

“This solidifies our position as a leading investor in the small box retail and restaurant sectors, an increasing business focus of ours,” says Marcy Axelrad, principal of CRIC Capital. Applebee’s International Inc. develops franchises and operates Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar casual dining restaurants in 49 states and nine countries.

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