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Maximizing Value: The Strategic Sale of HT Berry’s Legacy Property

Posted by Anne on June 26, 2024
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Introduction

HT Berry, a family-owned paper product and janitorial supply business founded in 1964, was in a transition with both their company and real estate. After deciding to sell their business in 2022, the HT Berry family faced the challenge of determining the future of their property, which was excluded from the company sale. HT Berry sought guidance from R.W. Holmes on whether to hold or sell their 100,000 SF industrial warehouse property in Canton, MA.

Background

R.W. Holmes was brought in to advise the HT Berry family after the sale of their business. The family wanted an analysis of the current sale value of the 100,000 SF property versus keeping the property with the in-place rental revenue with the new owners of the HT Berry Company. R.W. Holmes worked with the HT Berry family for over two years, continually updating the building valuation based on the fast-changing interest rate environment of late 2022 – 2023. As interest rates stabilized in early 2024, the family determined it was the right time to sell 50 North Street due to the continued investor demand for large industrial properties in the Greater Boston market.

The Challenges and Lessons Learned

As is typical with legacy assets trading for the first time, there were several hurdles that needed to be navigated by the R.W. Holmes team to help ensure a smooth transaction for the HT Berry family. One of the major hurdles was the difficulty in finding decades-old property information vital to the buyer’s due diligence process. Despite utilizing R.W. Holmes’ due diligence checklist to compile the documents prior to bringing the property to prospective buyers, there were still additional items requested that had been lost between generations of owners.

Additionally, the lease in place with the company’s new owners had several lease terms that hindered the property’s sale price. Had the HT Berry family included the R.W. Holmes team in the lease review during the business sale, there was the opportunity to increase the sale price by approximately 15% with minor lease language edits that would have provided the new buyers with more flexibility and upside in revenue with the existing tenant.

Strategy Highlights

Off-Market Deal Sourcing:

Leveraged R.W. Holmes’ extensive network to identify and approach potential buyers discreetly, maximizing value by targeting investors specifically interested in the property’s unique aspects.

Property Strategy for Ownership:

By continually monitoring the property value and having an intimate knowledge of the sales market, R.W. Holmes could advise the HT Berry family on the opportune time to sell the property to maximize value. By also understanding the family’s overall goals and the dynamics of all family members involved, R.W. Holmes was also able to strategically structure the sale to benefit the family’s needs.

Hands-On Management of Due Diligence Process:

After securing the ideal buyer, R.W. Holmes remained fully involved with the due diligence process. From recommending the right real estate attorney to create the Purchase & Sale Agreement and be available for any legal questions during the sale, implementing a systematic approach to gathering all necessary historical documentation, being onsite for all buyer visits, and negotiating throughout due diligence, R.W. Holmes remained at the center of the transaction to be a resource and advisor for the seller.

Conclusion:

The collaboration between HT Berry and R.W. Holmes led to the sale of the 100,000 SF warehouse for $13,850,000. By engaging R.W. Holmes for their deep expertise and strategic approaches, HT Berry effectively navigated the challenges and transactional complexities of the sale process. This case study is a practical example for other family-owned businesses or any businesses that own their real estate, illustrating how real estate can be leveraged as a strategic asset for immediate financial benefits and long-term business sustainability.

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