Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers Europe has completed a GBP150m senior debt refinancing package for UK & European Investments, a multi-national property investment and development company.
The loans are secured against a portfolio of six prime assets located in Central London and the South East. The facility was arranged by Laxfield Capital, a UK commercial mortgage investment manager.
The deal represents Cornerstone’s second and largest real estate lending transaction in the UK to date and is in line with the company’s strategy of extending into Europe its USD27bn commercial real estate debt platform, which completed USD5.25bn in real estate transactions in 2012.
The new fixed-rate, nine and 11 year mixed maturity GBP150m loan facility has a weighted average unexpired lease term of 9.8 years. It is in line with Cornerstone’s core lending strategy which offers loans with maturities ranging from seven to 20 years.
Charles Weeks, chief executive of Cornerstone Europe, says: “This transaction coincides with the first anniversary of our entry into the UK lending market and with this deal and others in hand, Laxfield Capital has done a great job in helping us meet our objectives. With Chris now leading the ongoing development of the debt platform in Europe, we are hoping to maintain this momentum in the UK and begin to look at wider opportunities in Europe, as they develop.”
Nick Pink, chief investment officer of Cornerstone Europe, says: “This transaction typifies Cornerstone’s core lending strategy in the Europe. UK & European Investments is a top tier sponsor and this portfolio of prime assets, secured against strong covenants with a long average unexpired lease term is ideally suited to long term finance.”
Barnaby Kelham, chief executive of UK & European, says: “We are pleased to be working with Cornerstone on their largest real estate lending transaction in the UK and to have secured this significant long term finance at a time when yields are still close to historic lows. This new facility provides UK and European with new funding and fire power which will be used to expand the portfolio and development programme. This will allow us to make new acquisitions fast without need for any third party debt.”
Adam Slater, managing director at Laxfield Capital, says: “In the past 15 months we have generated and executed an excellent pipeline of opportunities for Cornerstone to help it gain traction in the UK market and successfully fulfilled the target for the first year. We wish Cornerstone well as it establishes its own platform and look forward to working with the new team to close out the existing pipeline. Laxfield is in an extremely active phase of deal closing currently, and is set for a record last quarter in 2013.”