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- December 1, 2015: Vol. 27, Number 11

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Restaurant firm spins out separate REIT

by Loretta Clodfelter

Darden Restaurants Inc. — the company behind the Olive Garden and other restaurant chains — has finished the spinoff of its real estate assets into a separate REIT.

Darden shareholders received one share of Four Corners Property Trust for every three shares of Darden. The REIT began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Nov. 10 under the symbol FCPT, opening at $19.85 per share with an equity market cap of approximately $850 million.

The new specialty REIT now owns 424 restaurants — 418 of which will be leased back to Darden under triple-net leases — including 300 Olive Garden restaurants.

REIT spinoffs have been popular in 2015. Another REIT was created earlier this year through a spinoff from Sears Holdings. Seritage Growth Properties, with an equity market cap of $937 million, owns or has interests in 266 properties totaling 42 million square feet of space. And gaming behemoth MGM Resorts International is planning to spin out a REIT known as MGM Grow

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