Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform > Aspen Education Group

Purchase/Lease Back


Amy Sandler

December 12, 2005

Aspen Education Group and Spirit Finance Corporation Announce Strategic Real Estate Relationship?First Multi-Million Dollar Sale/Leaseback Transaction Closes

CERRITOS, CA ?Aspen Education Group, the nation?s leader in providing private-pay therapeutic education to underachieving young people, today announced the closing of a strategic real estate finance transaction designed to provide Aspen access to additional capital that will facilitate future expansion and maximize shareholder value. In the first of two initial transactions, which closed December 7, Aspen and Spirit Finance Corporation (NYSE:SFC), a publicly traded real estate investment trust headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, completed a multi-million dollar sale/leaseback that gives Spirit Finance ownership of four properties previously owned by Aspen.

The properties, located in California, Vermont, North Carolina and Massachusetts, comprise a total of approximately 700 acres and 31 buildings with over 200,000 square feet of residential, classroom and office space. The seamless sale/leaseback transaction will allow Aspen to continue to operate its existing therapeutic education programs at these facilities without interruption under a long-term lease with Spirit. The Investment Banking Group at Cushman & Wakefield Inc. advised Aspen on the sale. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

?We are pleased to initiate a strategic real estate financing relationship with an organization of the caliber of Spirit Finance Corporation,? said Aspen Education Group CEO and President Elliot Sainer. ?Their experience and leadership was vital to the success of this first transaction, and we look forward to a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship with them in future real estate transactions.?

?Through this relationship with Spirit, Aspen is able to unlock the value tied up in our owned real estate and redeploy that capital into our core business and future growth activities,? added Mark Nelson, Aspen?s director of corporate finance. ?As we move forward together, Aspen can continue to focus on our core strength of providing services that combine education and therapeutic assistance to young people, while leveraging the real estate financing expertise of Spirit Finance.?

?We are delighted to have developed an ongoing relationship with a rapidly growing organization like Aspen in the Therapeutic Education industry,? stated Christopher Volk, president and chief executive officer of Spirit Finance. ?We believe that Aspen?s business model will be further enhanced through the proper execution of strategic real estate financing arrangements. Spirit Finance is able to provide the kind of certainty of execution and competitive sale/leaseback pricing that adds value for Aspen. The entire Spirit Finance team looks forward to the future opportunities afforded by this exciting relationship.?

About Aspen Education Group:
With 32 programs in 11 states, Aspen Education Group is the nation?s largest and most comprehensive network of therapeutic schools and programs. Aspen Education Group offers professionals and families the opportunity to choose from a variety of therapeutic settings in order to best meet a student?s unique academic and emotional needs. An industry innovator, Aspen was voted among the top education companies by Eduventures, the leading independent education industry research firm. Aspen and its programs have been profiled by major news and television organizations around the world, including: CNN; the New York Times; the Los Angeles Times Magazine; U.S. News & World Report; USA Today; National Public Radio; ?Dateline NBC;? NBC?s ?Today;? ABC?s "Good Morning America;" "Dr. Phil;" and in several documentaries, newspapers and television talk shows in the United Kingdom. For over two decades Aspen Education Group has been achieving successful outcomes for families. No other organization in the therapeutic education industry offers a more enlightened approach or a more reputable network of quality programs. For more information about Aspen, please visit or call 888-972-7736.

About Spirit Finance Corporation:
Spirit Finance Corporation provides customized, flexible sale/leaseback financing solutions for single tenant, real estate assets that are vital to the operations of retail, service and distribution companies. The company?s core markets include free-standing automotive, drugstores, educational facilities, movie theaters, restaurants, supermarkets, and other retail, distribution and service businesses. For more information, visit

About Cushman & Wakefield:
Cushman & Wakefield Inc. (?C & W?) is the world?s largest privately held real estate services firm. Founded in 1917, the firm has 189 offices in 57 countries around the globe, and 11,000+ talented professionals. C & W delivers integrated solutions by actively advising, implementing and managing on behalf of landlords, tenants, and investors through every stage of the real estate process. These solutions include helping clients to buy, sell, finance, lease and manage assets. The firm also provides valuation advice, strategic planning and research, portfolio analysis, investment banking services, and site selection and space location assistance, among many other advisory services. For more information, visit


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