The German and Swedish banks, respectively, have each provided half of a new five-year term loan for Tesco BL Properties, secured against two retail parks, five shopping centres and four Tesco superstores. The margin on the debt is under 150 basis points – much lower than when the portfolio was last refinanced in late 2009 by a club of five lenders comprised of Helaba, Eurohypo, Santander Corporate Banking, Crédit Agricole CIB and Nationwide Building Society.
The deal is a particularly large ticket size for Handelsbanken, which is known for relationship lending in the UK to SMEs. In May its Durham office refinanced £20m of Northern Rock debt for student accommodation provider 3R Land and Property, which plans to develop properties in the housing and commercial sector across the North East.
Tesco BL Properties Ltd was set up in 1999 and is one of five JVs between the partners. Handelsbanken is a lender to another: the Tesco British Land Property Partnership. It provided a £60m loan alongside Crédit Agricole CIB in 2011 for the Beaumont Leys Shopping Centre in Leicester. The deal was delivered through Handelsbanken’s City corporate banking branch, which counts British Land as a client.
Helaba took part in a 14-bank syndicate that provided an unsecured revolving credit facility of £785m for British Land in April.