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JENKINTOWN, PA-In joint venture with Dillon Read Capital Management, American Financial Realty Trust has agreed to acquire 241 bank branches from two subsidiaries of Citizens Financial Group for approximately $323 million. Under the sale-leaseback agreement, the branches remain fully leased to Citizens Bank and Charter One Bank. Locally based AFR’s property management affiliate will provide day-to-day management of the portfolio.

Through a spokesman, AFR declined to disclose where the assets are located or additional details of the company’s previously announced review of “strategic opportunities.” The spokesman tells GlobeSt.com discussion of the Citizens Financial deal awaits the closing of the transaction, “which will be within the next two weeks.”

This is AFR’s first JV with Stamford, CT-based Dillon. In a statement, Nicholas S. Schorsch, AFR’s president and CEO, refers to the financial-specialty REIT’s plan to engage in “a wider review of additional strategic opportunities,” and calls this partnership “a working example.” He says, “the joint venture enhances our competitive advantage in the bank real estate market and provides higher overall returns through management fee and financial performance-based incentive income, while reducing our balance sheet exposure. We believe this partnership opens future co-investment opportunities.” For more about AFR’s strategy review, click here.

Dillon Read is a hedge fund, launched by UBS in mid-2005 as part of UBS’ Global Asset Management Business Group. The Providence, RI-based Citizens Financial is the US banking arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc.

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