CLS Holdings completes GBP61.7m long-term, sustainable real estate loan with Scottish Widows

CLS has completed a GBP61.7 million loan with Scottish Widows secured on a portfolio of five UK office properties. 

This loan replaces two existing loans of GBP27.4 million, which were due to expire before the end of 2021, as well as financing three recent unencumbered acquisitions. Overall, the transaction will result in net additional cash to CLS of GBP33.7 million, after costs.
The twelve-year loan has a loan-to-value ratio of 55 per cent and a fixed interest rate of 2.65 per cent. Subject to certain conditions, CLS will be able to remove or substitute properties as security for the loan.
The loan, which is in line with the LMA sustainability-linked loan principles, incorporates a 10-basis point margin reduction dependent on the delivery of specific sustainability targets. The loan will increase the proportion of CLS’ total loans which are green/sustainability-linked to around 20 per cent.
Andrew Kirkman, Chief Financial Officer of CLS, says: “We have had a strong relationship with Lloyds Banking Group, of which Scottish Widows is a part, for many years.  This long-term financing recognises and incentivises our sustainability commitments while aligning them to those of Scottish Widows. Furthermore, this loan diversifies our debt profile and the amount meeting green financing principles.”
Duncan Smith, Director of Loan Investments at Scottish Widows, says: “We have worked closely with CLS to put in place this long-term funding package to support its continued growth strategy. This marks the first sustainability-linked Scottish Widows loan and follows our recent announcement to halve our carbon footprint of investments by 2030 and target net zero emissions by 2050.”
Following the execution of this loan and the financings associated with the recent completion of our five German acquisitions as well as payment of the final dividend on 29 April 2021, CLS will have cash of over GBP150 million and a loan to value ratio of c.39 per cent based on 31 December 2020 portfolio valuation (31 December 2020: 33.7 per cent) with a further GBP50 million in undrawn facilities.