American Realty Capital Properties (NYSE: VER ) announced today it would be selling $1.975 billion worth of property to Blackstone (NYSE: BX ) to fund its previously announced $1.5 billion acquisition of more than 500 Red Lobster properties.
Last Friday, Darden Restaurants announced it had agreed to sell Red Lobster to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion. Golden Gate Capital entered into an agreement with American Realty Capital Properties to sell it the properties at more than 500 restaurants and in turn lease them back from ARCP.
In order to fund the acquisition of the Red Lobster properties, ARCP will cancel its efforts to spin off its multitenant shopping centers into another publicly traded REIT known as American Realty Capital Centers. Instead, it will sell nearly all of the properties to Blackstone for $1.975 billion and expects the transaction to be complete within the next 30 days.
"The previously announced spin-off of our multi-tenant portfolio created visibility and optionality for ARCP in connection with its multi-tenant assets," said the chairman and CEO of American Realty Capital Properties, Nicholas Schorsch, in the announcement today. "Thus, we were able to explore various avenues to create stockholder value during the time we prepared for the spin-off. We now believe the sale of the multi-tenant portfolio will deliver the best value creation option to our shareholders."
American Realty Capital Properties said that it was increasing its acquisitions target for 2014 to $4.5 billion, as the $1.5 billion Red Lobster real estate portfolio would put it at its previous goal of $3.0 billion well ahead of year's end.
In addition to the sale of the properties to Blackstone, ARCP also announced it would be issuing more than 100 million new shares of common stock in an effort to repay certain debt obligations as well as for other general corporate purposes. As of May 7, 2014, it had approximately 770 million shares of common stock outstanding, and the move announced today would will increase its share count by 13%.