Hurd Real Estate Services Inc. has acquired seven Hy-Vee Inc. grocery stores and five convenience stores in a three-state area under a sale and lease-back arrangement that is a specialty for the West Des Moines-based brokerage.

Hurd paid a total of $82.35 million for the properties in Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois. Richie Hurd, vice president of the company founded by his father, Richard, said he could not discuss details of the leases.

The deal increases Hurd's portfolio of Hy-Vee properties to 13 grocery stores and 10 convenience stores in five states. The company also owns properties in Minnesota and Missouri.

"The agreement allows Hy-Vee to monetize its real estate assets while expanding our portfolio with a well-respected company that offers a valuable service to the communities it serves," Richard Hurd said in a release.

Hurd Real Estate is not treading in unknown territory. It has worked lease-back agreements for more than 35 years with several national and regional companies. These transactions are a common way for companies to increase financial flexibility, while maintaining operational control of their facilities.

Other companies that have had lease-back agreements with Hurd Real Estate are QuikTrip Corp., Kum & Go LC, Arby's Restaurant Inc., Circle K convenience stores, Walgreen Co., Wells Fargo & Co., P.F. Chang's China Bistro and UnityPoint Health.

All told, Hurd Real Estate has 100 income-producing commercial properties located in 10 Midwest and Southwest states.