Case Detail

Case Summary

The Right of Acquisition: Options in Commercial Real Estate

Case Number: 5-114-001, Year Published: 2014

HBS Number: KEL819

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Key Concepts

Cash flow analysis, Financial analysis, Financial instruments, Real estate, Valuation


In April 2012 Bill Nichols, a financial analyst at the real estate investment firm Koenig Capital, was about to enter a unique lease renegotiation. One of Koenig’s tenants, Hasperat Inc., had sixteen years left on its long-term lease of the Kelley Building, a 165,000-square-foot office building in downtown Cleveland. The lease contained a clause giving Hasperat the option to buy the Kelley Building from Koenig. When Nichols tried to place a mortgage on the property to take advantage of low interest rates, he learned that the existence of this option in the lease contract prevented lenders from offering Koenig their lowest rates. As a result, Nichols had been tasked with renegotiating the lease to remove the option clause. This unexpected event offered Nichols the opportunity to use his financial skills. He needed to calculate the fair value of the purchase option to be able to justify to his superiors by how much they should compensate Hasperat. Students will step into the role of Bill Nichols and apply real options modeling techniques to value the purchase option in Hasperat’s lease.

Learning Objectives

After reading and analyzing the case, students will be able to:

  • Apply real options theory to the valuation of a purchase option in a commercial real estate lease
  • Identify the common mistakes in applying traditional discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis to financial problems with option components

Number of Pages: 10

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Finance

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Industry: Real estate investment

Organization Name: Fictional

Decision Maker Position: Financial analyst

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2012