The most common users of sale leaseback arrangements are builders or companies with high fixed assets. A leaseback arrangement is useful when a company needs to use the cash invested in an asset for other investments, but the asset is still needed in order to operate. Leaseback deals can also provide the seller with additional tax deductions. The lessor benefits in that it receives a guaranteed lease with stable payments for a specified period of time.
Although sale leasebacks have a different accounting treatment than debt, they are generally not considered to be financing and therefore stay off the balance sheet. This is why some analysts add capitalized leases to long-term debt when trying to get a big picture of the company's total debt obligation.