Americold Sells $600 Million of Mortgage-Backed Bonds

Americold Realty Trust, the warehouse operator owned by Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos., sold $600 million of bonds backed by commercial-mortgage debt, according to a person familiar with the transaction.

The largest top-rated class, a $157 million slice maturing in 5.53 years, yields 160 basis points more than the benchmark swap rate, said the person, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t public. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. managed the offering.

Sales of bonds linked to loans on commercial real estate are rising as Wall Street revives the $650 billion market. About $10.6 billion of the debt has been issued this year, from $3.4 billion in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Issuance may reach $45 billion in 2011, according to a Nov. 24 report from JPMorgan.

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup Inc. are also marketing $876 million of bonds backed by commercial mortgages, according to a person familiar with that offering. The transaction is slated for sale next week, the person said.

Issuance of the debt tumbled after the credit crisis sapped investor demand for risk and property prices started a 43 percent slide from 2007 peaks.

Americold spokesman Neil Campbell declined to comment on behalf of the Atlanta-based company.

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