Advanced Micro Devices (News - Alert) (AMD) shows there’s some money to be made in the Austin, Tex., commercial real estate market. The company will sell and lease back its campus to raise $164 million.
Located at 7171 Southwest Parkway in Austin, the property will be sold this month to 7171 Southwest Parkway Holdings, LP, connected to Spear Street Capital. Also, AMD (News - Alert) will agree to a 12-year lease with a possible extension.
In explaining the move, Reuters reports the company wants to diversify “beyond the struggling PC industry into new markets.” Fewer sales of PCs have hurt AMD and Intel (News - Alert) Corp – as more consumers opt for iPads and other tablets.
“The sale of AMD's Austin campus is in keeping with the company's strategy to reduce investments and capital in non-core parts of the business, including real estate,” the company explained in a recent statement carried by TMCnet. “In 1998, the company sold and currently leases-back its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. In 2008, it sold and currently leases-back its major site in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Recently, AMD also began marketing the sale of its Building 3 property located at 5900 East Ben White Boulevard in Austin, Texas. Building 3 is a largely unoccupied property whose operations and employees will be consolidated at other AMD sites.”
Ars Technica even called AMD a “perpetually struggling” company, and said the sale-lease back is “a quick way to make a buck,” and “could raise questions about the long-term viability of the company.”
But Michael Silverman, an AMD spokesman, in response to the Ars Technica story, which cited a negative comment from a financial analyst made during last year that the company was “un-investable” and ignores “the progress that has been made in the following six months, e.g., the recently announced Sony Playstation 4 APU semi-custom part win, today’s newly announced Richland mobile APU part and the related APU and GPU/Radeon announcements on new products we made at CES (News - Alert), which also included a new customer for us: VIZIO. Of course, talk is cheap—we need to deliver not just on the product front but also show progress in our financials. But it would be fair to say that the roadmap is largely well-received and the new products look good to our partners and customers.”
“As we reset and restructure AMD for long-term success, we are taking a number of steps designed to optimize our business and monetize assets,” Devinder Kumar, chief financial officer of AMD, added when explaining the company’s strategy. “The sale of our Austin campus will unlock a significant amount of capital, while the multi-year lease back of our Austin campus reconfirms our long-term commitment to the city that so many AMD employees have called home since 1979.”
Edited by Jamie Epstein