E Point Perfect

Sainsbury’s in talks to sell 18 supermarket stores for £500m


// Sainsbury’s is in advanced talks to offload a portfolio of prime retail sites to real estate investor LXi REIT for £500m
// LXi REIT is expected to raise equity to fund the purchase of nearly 20 Sainsbury’s freeholds

Sainsbury’s is in discussions with real estate investor LXi REIT plc to sell nearly 20 supermarket stores for £500 million on a sale and leaseback basis.

LXi REIT, which has a market value of about £2.5 billion, is close to agreeing a deal to acquire the freeholds to 18 Sainsbury’s stores, which the grocer then intends to lease back.

If confirmed, the deal would come months after it was revealed that the grocer was exploring a sale of the portfolio.

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LXi REIT invests in commercial real estate assets which benefit from long leases, typically lasting decades, and is a member of the FTSE-250 index.

Sainsbury’s has already reached agreement on an acquisition price for the 21 stores in the Highbury and Dragon investment vehicles, on which it served notice to purchase last year and earlier this year.

The acquisitions will complete in the first half of the financial year to March 2024.

Sainsbury’s has held a 49% interest in Highbury and Dragon since it was created in 2000. The vehicles comprise the freeholds of 26 supermarkets which are leased to Sainsbury’s.

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