WARSAW-OBI AG, one of the top five do-it-yourself retailers in the world, has agreed to sell 18 retail locations for $200 million in a sale-leaseback transaction with two real estate investment funds managed by New York-based WP Carey & Co. The transaction is expected to close March 30.

The 18 facilities are located throughout Poland. They include 15 existing operating retail stores–including its flagship in Warsaw–two stores under construction and one build-to-suit retail site. OBI plans to use its sale proceeds to further expand its footprint throughout Central and Eastern Europe, where it already operates stores in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Switzerland.

OBI stores recorded overall sales of euro 6.6 billion in 2005. The company employs 30,000 people worldwide. WP Carey is making the investment on behalf of CPA:15 and CPA:16 – Global. CPA:16 – Global will own 25% of the portfolio, while CPA:15 will own the remaining 75%. On behalf of its funds, WP Carey now manages 16 million sf in Europe and Asia.

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