Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers Europe it has closed EUR560m of new senior loans in just over seven months for its EUR1bn collective investment Nordic Retail Fund (NRF).
The latest closing is a new EUR240m (SEK2.1bn) term loan with pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ).
The proceeds of these loans have been used to refinance the portfolio and provide fresh capital for the value enhancing asset management initiatives and capital expenditure programmes Cornerstone Europe is currently undertaking across the portfolio. Cornerstone Europe also closed a mezzanine loan facility arranged by DRC Capital, which can be used to balance NRF’s capital requirements across its asset base.
This latest loan follows the successful completion of a EUR60m facility, signed in June with SEB and Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company, in relation to two shopping centres located in Rovaniemi and Lappeenranta in Finland.
At the end of 2012, Cornerstone Europe closed a new EUR260m loan facility arranged by the Danish Mortgage Bank Nykredit Bank and secured on the Kamppi shopping centre, which is considered the leading shopping centre in downtown Helsinki, Finland, and is also the largest shopping centre asset in NRF.
Charles Weeks, chief executive officer at Cornerstone Europe, says: “Since taking over the asset management of the Nordic Retail Fund in mid-2011, we have successfully completed a number of asset management and capital expenditure initiatives. By leveraging our in-house expertise to stabilise the Fund and by concluding this recent refinancing we are in a strong position to deliver shareholder value.”
Adrian Ion, director fund operations and European finance at Cornerstone Europe, says: “Over the years we have developed significant in-house debt finance expertise. This, coupled with our institutional investor base and our strong relationships with the banking community, has allowed us to refinance a large amount of debt in a volatile market environment at a blended cost of around four per cent. We are delighted with the result we have achieved for NRF and we are very pleased with the support provided by our lending partners.”
Norbert Müller, head of real estate finance Continental Europe West at pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, says: “For pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Scandinavia is an attractive market, demonstrated by the opening of our Stockholm Branch in September last year. I’m therefore happy to announce yet another deal closed. We are pleased to support Cornerstone Europe, being such a significant client with a large commitment and strong local presence in the Nordic markets.”
The Nordic Retail Fund is a EUR1bn collective investment property fund investing in retail assets in Finland and Sweden. It currently invests in 14 retail assets in Sweden and three large shopping centres in Finland, with a total lettable area of three million square feet.