Germany

Rockspring secures EUR275m from five banks for German Retail Box Fund

Rockspring Property Investment Managers has refinanced its Lloyds HBOS EUR282m capital market facility for its German Retail Box Fund (GRBF), eight months prior to its due date in September 2013, with a EUR275m facility from a club of five banks in Germany.

The five year loan remains Rockspring’s largest single facility and the early refinancing reflects the strong support of the financing banks, SEB (acting as mandated lead arranger), Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale, Deutsche Hypothekenbank (Actien-Gesellschaft), Corealcredit Bank and ING Bank.
 
This new agreement removes all refinancing risk from the fund and will allow Rockspring and the asset manager, Prime Management Düsseldorf, to continue to focus on their value-add asset management programme, establishing a strong base for further core-plus and value add purchases going forward.
 
GRBF, which launched in 2005, before the majority of foreign investors targeted the German market, currently has 12 institutional investors and, following three completed sales in 2012, has a gross asset value of just under EUR650m. The fund’s total portfolio comprises some 50 food anchored retail warehouse parks and hypermarkets with over 95 per cent by value in former West Germany. Rockspring currently manages over EUR1bn of retail warehouse properties in Germany and has been active in this market for the last eight years.
 
The club was put together by Rockspring’s group treasurer, Andrew Grant Duff, and was led by SEB, Frankfurt as agent.
 
Stuart Reid, partner in the Berlin office of Rockspring, says: “Our successful completion of this refinancing in a highly illiquid debt finance market clearly demonstrates the trust that these banks have in our strategy, platform and partners and underscores our leading position in the German out of town retail market.
 
“The deal also underlines the attraction of this retail asset class in Germany to both investors and debt providers. With this major refinancing in place, we are now well positioned to take advantage of further interesting acquisition opportunities over the next couple of years.”

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