Why Consider a Sale-leaseback? 

Top motivations behind this financing method in today’s environment

By: W. P. Carey Editorial Team

In today’s economic environment cash is king, and businesses both large and small are looking for ways to boost their cash flows. That’s why an increasing number of companies are monetizing their real estate to unlock otherwise illiquid capital through sale-leasebacks. Sale-leasebacks give companies the liquidity needed to address a number of strategic and financial initiatives and are growing in popularity. Here are three of the biggest factors motivating companies to pursue a sale-leaseback now.  

Cheaper alternative to debt

When it comes to raising capital, companies typically have a menu of options to choose from including high-yield bonds, bank debt, equity raising or sale-leasebacks. However, some of these methods have been more negatively affected by higher interest rates than others. For instance, bonds and bank debt have both increased by more than 400 basis points since early 2022. On the other hand, cap rates on sale-leasebacks have risen significantly less – about half as much – making sale-leasebacks a more attractive alternative on a relative cost of capital basis. From a purely financial standpoint, this is driving more companies, particularly those with high-quality, mission-critical real estate assets, to leverage sale-leasebacks as one of their primary forms of capital raising.

Capital to reduce leverage

Given recent economic volatility, more companies are seeking to strengthen their overall credit metrics and capitalization to best position themselves for the future. Sale-leasebacks are a great solution for companies looking to reduce leverage, as the proceeds can be used to pay down shorter-term debt or maturing debt that has become significantly more expensive to refinance. The reduction in leverage helps improve both a business’ debt / EBITDA ratio in addition to debt / capitalization, which can improve a company’s overall credit and better position them for the long term. 

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