Posti Group sells postal sites in €120m leaseback deal

Posti Group sells postal sites in €120m leaseback deal

Finland’s Posti Group has sold off three postal centres, a warehouse and a freight terminal in a bid to release capital for investment in its business operations. The company said following the EUR 120m sale, it will remain operating out of the sites, under long-term leases.

The move will not affect staff, it confirmed yesterday.

The state-owned postal operator said it agreed a contract with Norwegian real estate investment firm Ness, Risan & Partners (NRP) to sell the properties, which are all within Finland.

The sites in question include postal centres in Tampere, Kuopio and Oulu, along with a warehouse in Tuusula and a freight terminal in Pirkkala.

Together, the sites being sold comprise 130,000 square metres (1.4m square feet) of space.

Posti Group said the properties transferred to the new owner as of yesterday, other than the freight terminal which will transfer in 2016. The sites will be administered on behalf of NRP by Swedish firm Wilfast Forvaltning.

Framework

“Posti Group wanted the new owners of this real estate to be long-term investors who will continue to develop the sites according to the long-term needs of the postal business,” explained Marko Tulokas, Posti Group Properties managing director, who said his company was selling its sites within a favourable property market.

“The NRP sale provides us with a good framework for the future by freeing up investment funds.”

Posti Group said it has around 1m square metres (10.8m square feet) of office and operational space, around 13% of its total, available for similar transactions.

Knut Ekjord, partner at NRP, said: “We are very satisfied with the transaction, the lessee and the properties. It is wonderful to be able to form a long-term partnership with Posti. The deal provides a perfect investment profile — the tenant is a stable company with a long-term lease on a modern site.”

Posti Group – which rebranded from Itella at the start of this year – is in the process of reshaping its business in the light of significant changes in its core markets, not least a runaway digitisation of Finnish society.

The company’s sales fell 6% year-on-year last year, to EUR 1.86bn, with pre-tax losses doubling to EUR 4.6m. Addressed letter volumes fell 10% during the year, with newspaper delivery volumes falling 13%.

Last week Posti Group announced the sale of its Scandinavian road freight business, with its operational focus now more on Finland, Russia and the Baltic Republics.

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