Kraft Foods Group Inc. has sold its suburban Chicago headquarters as part of a broad-based effort to return cash to shareholders.
The company, which plans to lease back the building for at least 10 years, declined to say how much the buyer — real estate investment trust W.P. Carey Inc. — paid for the 679,000-square-foot property, situated on a 70-acre campus.
Kraft Foods was spun off from Mondelez International in October and is now a $19-billion North American grocery business. Chief Executive Tony Vernon said the company will shift its focus from revenue growth and profit margins to generating cash.
Although sale-leasebacks are a multibillion-dollar industry, Garry Cohen, senior managing director of leaseback capital at Mesirow Financial in Chicago, characterized them an "underutilized tool."