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AMD plans to sell 58-acre Austin campus and lease back space to raise cash during hard times

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FLICKR AMD Lone Star Campus
FLICKR AMD Lone Star Campus

It's not surprising in the least that AMD is in trouble, but if any doubts remained, this week's news that the chipmaker will sell its Austin, Texas campus and lease it back to raise cash should be a clear indicator. According to the Austin American-Statesman, AMD is in the planning stages of making a deal that would see its massive 58-acre Lone Star Campus — opened in 2008 — sold for an expected $150 to $200 million. The company would then sign a deal to lease back the space, which it built for an estimated $270 million, for 12 to 15 years, liquidizing some of its real estate assets and adding to its dwindling reserves of cash.

Such a deal was previously rumored by Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh, and AMD spokesman Drew Prairie told Reuters that the company's Silicon Valley headquarters and another building in Toronto were sold and leased back in the past. Prairie also confirmed that AMD is moving to sell the Austin campus, telling Reuters that "There are favorable economic conditions in the part of Austin where the campus is located... Contingent on finding an investor who wants to do a multiyear lease-back, it's a good opportunity for us to unlock the value of the real estate to fund operations."