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Bed Bath & Beyond shares jump on real estate deal for $250 million

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Shoppers exit a Bed Bath & Beyond store in New York.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bed Bath & Beyond shares jumped nearly 3% Monday morning after the retailer said it had completed a sale-leaseback transaction with an affiliate of Oak Street Real Estate Capital, netting it $250 million in proceeds.

The embattled company’s new CEO Mark Tritton, who just took the reins in November, said the deal, which entailed selling real estate and leasing it back, “marks the first step toward unlocking valuable capital … that can be put to work to amplify our plans to build a stronger, more efficient foundation to support revenue growth, financial stability and enhance shareholder value.”

Bed Bath & Beyond said in a press release that the properties it has sold represent about 2.1 million square feet of commercial real estate, which includes stores, office space and a distribution center. Bed Bath & Beyond, which also owns Buy Buy Baby and Harmon drugstores, has roughly 1,500 locations in total.

The company said it is continuing to work with outside financial advisors to review its real estate and determine the best uses “to optimize its asset base and enhance shareholder value.”

Bed Bath & Beyond said it plans to use the proceeds from the deal announced Monday to reinvest in its core business and transformation efforts, to fund share repurchases and to reduce outstanding debt, or a combination of these tactics.

Tritton has only been in the CEO role, after leaving Target, for a few weeks. But he has shown he is wasting no time to embark on his own turnaround strategy.

Last month, he ousted six senior executives — in the midst of the holiday shopping season, including the retailer’s chief merchandising officer, marketing officer, digital officer, its general counsel and chief administrative officer.

Bed Bath & Beyond has come under heightened pressure and sales have slumped as businesses such as Amazon, Walmart and Target have appealed more to consumers with speedier shipping and stronger websites, as they sell many of the same items that Bed Bath & Beyond has traditionally offered in its stores.

Meantime, selling real estate and leasing it back is a strategy that numerous retailers have deployed in the past, especially when they’re in a pinch for liquidity. Sears did this prior to going bankrupt. So has Macy’s. But this also means these companies then are stuck with paying rent.

Bed Bath & Beyond shares are up roughly 40% over the past 12 months, as of Friday’s market close.

The retailer is set to report quarterly earnings after the bell on Wednesday.



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