Sainsbury extends sale and leaseback

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The Independent Online

J Sainsbury has struck a sale and leaseback deal on a further 10 stores, raising £226m to invest in its key supermarkets business. The deal with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Asset Trust follows a similar £340m sale and leaseback deal on 16 stores in February.

J Sainsbury has struck a sale and leaseback deal on a further 10 stores, raising £226m to invest in its key supermarkets business. The deal with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Asset Trust follows a similar £340m sale and leaseback deal on 16 stores in February.

Ian Coull, property director, said the proceeds would "deliver value for investment in our stores' improvement programme". The deals are part of a wider move by Sainsbury's new chief executive, Sir Peter Davis, to make more use of the group's huge property portfolio. The company last week announced plans for an office and residential development above its Nine Elms store in south London. It is understood similar plans are in the pipeline for stores in Edinburgh and Peterborough.

J Sainsbury is also reviewing plans for the redevelopment of its headquarters in London, which is scattered around several buildings.

The company is due to report its first-quarter sales figures today. The shares slipped 9.5p to 285.5p yesterday on fears of poor trading.

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