Allianz boosts UK loan portfolio with £212m financing

Allianz Real Estate has participated in a £212 million (€235 million) majority stake in the senior debt financing of 55 Baker Street in London.

Allianz Real Estate has participated in a £212 million (€235 million) majority stake in the senior debt financing of 55 Baker Street in London.

The debt facility was made to refinance London & Regional’s mixed-use building in London’s West End.

In August, BNP Paribas and TH Real Estate announced the refinancing of the building, with the bank providing the senior tranche and the alternative lender writing the mezzanine part, which is understood to be more than £100 million. The size of the total debt facility was undisclosed.

The long-term financing represents the insurer’s second landmark transaction, having co-financed the CityPoint Tower earlier this year.

The participation in the CityPoint deal plus this recent transaction have brought Allianz’s UK debt exposure to around £500 million, as the insurer targets more exposure to the country.

“We find this conservative deal configuration very appealing and prime real estate like 55 Baker Street, supported by top-quality sponsors, suits our approach to European debt investments,” said Roland Fuchs, head of European real estate finance at Allianz.

He added: “55 Baker Street also expands our UK portfolio, supporting the diversification strategy that the Allianz companies have been pursuing since 2013.”

The landmark 55 Baker Street sits among other iconic buildings at the heart of London’s Marylebone district. A former Marks & Spencer headquarters, the property comprises 43,400 square metres for office space; 4,900 square metres for retail space; and some residential units.

The building was acquired by London & Regional Properties in 2005 and restructured in 2008. Its 100 percent occupancy rate and mainly long-term leases provide “excellent protection” against short-term volatilities in the London rental office market, Allianz said.

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