Spinning out

November 11, 2015 admin

olive_garden_exterior_hrDarden Inc. — the company behind the Olive Garden and other restaurant chains — has just finished the spinoff of its real estate assets into a separate REIT. Darden shareholders received one share of Four Corners Property Trust for every three shares of Darden. Four Corners Property Trust began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 10, opening at $19.85 per share and an equity market cap of approximately $850 million. The new specialty REIT now owns 424 restaurants — 418 of which will be leased back to Darden under triple-net leases — including 300 Olive Garden restaurants.

REIT spinoffs have been popular this year. Another REIT was created earlier this year through a spinoff from Sears Holdings. Seritage Growth Properties, with an equity market cap of $937 million, owns or has interests in 266 properties totaling 42 million square feet of space. And gaming behemoth MGM Resorts International is planning to spin out a REIT known as MGM Growth Properties LLC to own 10 resorts with 24,000 rooms.

But all these deals pale in comparison to the idea proposed earlier this year — a REIT spinoff by McDonald’s, which could be worth $20 billion. But the dream of the Mickey D’s REIT is likely to remain just that — the fast food giant yesterday said it would not put its real estate into a separate REIT.

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LorettawebfinalLoretta Clodfelter is editor of Institutional Real Estate Americas.

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