Guess which ASX 200 share is pushing higher on $480m asset sale

This stock is avoiding the market weakness on Monday.

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Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC) shares are starting the week positively.

In morning trade, the ASX 200 share is up 1.5% to $5.49.

Why is this ASX 200 share pushing higher today?

Investors have been buying Lendlease shares after it entered into an asset sale agreement with Omaha Beach Investment, an entity managed by Guggenheim Partners Investment Management.

According to the release, the agreement is for the sale of its US Military Housing business for A$480 million (US$320 million).

Management notes that the sale represents a significant premium to book value and includes the operating platform of the business along with the associated management rights for asset, property, development and construction management. Approximately 150 employees will transfer with the sale.

ASX 200 share points out that the transaction builds on the significant progress made as it executes on its strategy announced in May. This involves re-focusing on its Australian operations and international investment management capabilities, while recycling more than $4.5 billion of capital.

The company expects the transaction to result in FY 2025 operating profit after tax (OPAT) of $105 million to $120 million, with financial close and receipt of cash proceeds targeted by the end of the first half. Though, the transaction is subject to completion adjustments and conditions precedent. This includes third-party consents from particular service branches of the U.S. Department of Defense.

'Significant progress'

The ASX 200 share's CEO, Tony Lombardo, was happy with the news. He highlights the strong progress the company is making recycling capital. He commented:

With $1.9 billion of transactions already announced, including the sale of US Military Housing, we have made significant progress towards our target of recycling $2.8 billion of capital in the next 12 months. As this transaction demonstrates, we continue to take a disciplined approach to capital recycling, achieving premiums to book value, as we balance speed of execution with achieving value for our securityholders.

Implementation of our strategy is progressing well, with cost savings being realised across the regions as we today move to a simplified management structure. We are also working to complete the sales of our Life Sciences joint venture and our Communities projects. The announced exit from international Construction is well progressed, with the sale of our US East Coast operations anticipated to close in the coming months. Preparations have also commenced to sell our UK construction business within the next 18 months.

Life Sciences delays

One piece of news that could be holding back the ASX 200 share a touch is that completion of the sale of its Life Sciences interests into a new Asia Pacific Joint Venture is now expected to complete in the first half of FY 2025.

As a result, Lendlease now anticipates FY 2024 OPAT to be $260 million to 275 million. And FY 2024 Group gearing is now anticipated to be at the upper end of the 10% 20% target range, before the anticipated provision for impairments and charges.

This compares to previous guidance of "approximately $450m of OPAT" and group gearing "to be modestly above the midpoint of the 10-20% target range."

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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