November 30, 2012 – AMD hopes to save up to $200M by selling its Lone Star campus in Austin and then leasing the site back, as the company seeks ways to regain its fiscal footing.
The plan is to sell the campus "to reputable commercial investors," contingent on a multiyear leaseback plan that would let the chipmaker continue to be responsible for all campus operations, according to an AMD spokesperson. The move "is expected to have no impact on employees or operations."
Primarily, this is a deal aimed at shoring up the company’s short-term finance position. The AMD spokesperson characterized it as simply a "good business decision" that supports a long-term corporate strategy by generating capital to apply to all business operations, "as opposed to having it locked in real estate." (It also "tak[es] advantage of favorable economic conditions" in the local office real estate market, the rep added.)
Local media reports peg the deal as bringing in $150M-$200M for AMD, with a 12-15 year leaseback, but it’s unclear whether in that plan it would occupy the entire site. Reuters notes that AMD has done similar sale/leaseback deals for sites in California and Canada.
AMD has seen rough times of late. A month ago in its 3Q12 results it announced a broad restructuring including 15% layoffs, site consolidations, and lower breakeven targets. Some industry watchers have worried about the company’s struggles to hook into growth outside of declining PC markets.