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W.P. Carey acquires three Heafner Tire warehouses

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W.P. Carey & Co., a leading real estate investment banking firm, has acquired and leased-backed three warehouse facilities from Heafner Tire Group Inc.

According to the terms of the agreement, the facilities will be leased to Heafner under a 20-year net lease. The facilities, located in Lincolnton and Charlotte, N.C., and Greenville, S.C., total more than 465,600 square feet of warehouse space.

"This sale-leaseback transaction will effectively turn Heafner Tire's real estate into working capital," says Edward V. LaPuma, managing director of W.P. Carey. "Sale-leasebacks are increasingly becoming a preferred method of financing for companies seeking to grow and expand their business or pay down corporate debt in today's tightening credit markets."

"We are very pleased to have completed this transaction with W.P. Carey," says Tim Palmer, managing director of Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, Heafner's majority owner. "This was an efficient way for Heafner Tire Group to finance part of its comprehensive recapitalization, which allows the firm to continue to serve its customers better."

Heafner Tire Group recently retired $121.4 million in senior notes as part of a financial restructuring that "strengthens the company and gives us greater finanacial flexibility to better serve our customers," says Dick Johnson, Heafner's CEO and president.

Heafner Tire Group operates 62 distribution centers in the United States. The centers service all or parts of 35 states.

W.P. Carey paid $15 million for the warehouses on behalf of Corporate Property Associates 14 Inc., a member of the $3 billion W.P. Carey Group of publicly held, non-traded real estate investment trusts.

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