Following U.K. supermarket giant J. Sainsbury's recent GBP335.5 million ($526 million) sale-and-lease back securitization - lead managed by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and called Highbury Finance - rumors abound as to which U.K. retailer will next venture into the ABS market.
Retailer Marks & Spencer is also working on a sale-and-lease back securitization (also with Morgan Stanley) and they may soon be joined by Boots & Co. a Nottingham-based pharmacy group.
Boots is said to be considering a similar deal, as an alternative to the 25-year institutional lease, typical of its present property portfolio. The company is in discussions with property bank Parkes and it is likely that the idea of securitization has been discussed.
However, it is unlikely that such a move would be governed by a desire to raise quick finance. "We're not in a position where we need to raise cash," a Boot's spokesman said.