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Europe’s Top 50 Lenders 2021: The Banks, Part 2

In the second part of our annual list of Europe's leading property lenders, we continue our rundown of the banks that were most active in 2021.

Helaba

  • Lixa: Helaba financed the Polish building (source: BNP Paribas)

    Senior development lender

  • Active across Europe

  • Lending in 2020: €5.3bn

  • Lending in 2021 to end H1: €3.2bn

  • Loan book at end H1 2021: €29.7bn

Helaba proved willing to stick with the office sector this year, despite uncertainty caused by the pandemic. In January, the Frankfurt-based bank provided €166 million to Asia Pacific Land in a seven-year deal to finance the acquisition of the Focus Teleport complex in Berlin. In the same month, it provided an €82.2 million loan to finance the purchase of the Lixa office property in Warsaw, in which Commerz Real represented South Korea’s Hana Investment. In September, it partnered with HSBC for a £126 million development financing to developer Argent for a mixed-use asset at the King’s Cross estate in London.

HSBC

  • Senior, whole loan, development, loan-on-loan lender

  • Active across Europe

  • Lending volumes: Undisclosed

  • Loan book at end 2020: €26bn

HSBC did not disclose volumes but did provide evidence of its leading role in large green financing deals. In April, it was green loan co-ordinator for a £450 million facility to Qatari Diar for the development of hotel and retail on the site of the former US embassy in London. In the same month, it was lender and syndication agent on a €3 billion sustainability-linked revolving credit facility for retail owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. In August, it was co-global co-ordinator, green structuring adviser and active lead manager on a £400 million unsecured green bond to the Berkeley Group to fund its development of energy-efficient homes on brownfield land. It also played a role in a £300 million sustainable bond for Assura, and a revolving credit facility for student housing provider Unite Group.

ING

  • Notting Hill: ING financed an estate in the London district

    Senior, whole loan lender

  • Active in Benelux, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, CEE

  • Lending in 2020: €4.5bn

  • Lending in 2021 to end Q3: €4bn

  • Loan book at end Q3 2021: c.€29.9bn

In May, ING contributed €2.2 billion to the €22.4 billion bridge financing of Vonovia’s takeover of rival German residential owner Deutsche Wohnen. In June, it provided €471 million for the purchase of Spanish logistics platform Montepino by a vehicle set up by Bankinter Investment. In London, it led the €177 million financing in August of Frogmore and Morgan Stanley’s Notting Hill Gate Estate. In March, it partnered with LBBW for a £400 million refinancing of 110 Bishopsgate in the City of London, which it had previously financed alongside the German bank in 2016.

LBBW

  • 110 Bishopsgate: LBBW provided finance

    Senior, whole loan, development lender

  • Active in Germany, UK, France, Benelux

  • Lending in 2020: €7.5bn

  • Lending in 2021 to end Q3: €3.8bn

  • Loan book at end Q3 2021: €25.4bn

The German bank’s £400 million loan, alongside ING, to refinance 110 Bishopsgate in the City of London was among the UK’s landmark office lending deals since the onset of the pandemic. In a separate transaction, LBBW was the sole underwriter of a £350 million-plus industrial portfolio loan to investors advised by JPMorgan Asset Management, secured by nine properties across the UK and Ireland – a deal it closed in six weeks. In Germany, LBBW financed the M40-Das Holz-Carré mixed-use development with a short-term loan. The scheme includes an office scheme built using a modular wood-hybrid construction method.

Morgan Stanley

  • Life sciences: Morgan Stanley was involved in the Atom CMBS

    Senior, mezzanine, whole loan, loan-on-loan lender

  • Active in UK, Ireland, Nordics, Benelux, Iberia, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Poland

  • Lending in 2020: €2bn

  • Lending in 2021 to end Q3: €3bn

  • Loan book at end Q3 2021: c.€10bn

The US bank has been a leading player in Europe’s CMBS market. Three of its key deals financed the European activities of North American investor Brookfield. They included the €318 million Haus (ELoC 39) CMBS in July – the first German multifamily CMBS since 2013. Alongside Bank of America, it was also behind the Agora Securities UK 2021 CMBS in July, secured on a UK retail parks portfolio. In September, it issued Atom Mortgage Securities 2021 – a UK CMBS, with Bank of America and Standard Chartered – in the life sciences sector, which securitised a £391 million loan.

Natixis

  • Senior, mezzanine lender

  • Active across Europe

  • Lending in 2020: €3.3bn

  • Lending in 2021 to end Q3: €3bn

  • Loan book at end Q3 2021: €9.1bn

In May, the French bank was joint ESG co-ordinator for a €3 billion, five-year sustainability-linked revolving credit facility for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in a deal alongside 19 other banks. Other 2021 transactions have included a €183 million, five-year loan to a Tristan Capital Partners vehicle to refinance the acquisition of 21 residential and office assets, mainly in Berlin, and provide capex. In Italy, it provided €115 million to a fund owned by Tristan and managed by Alter Domus to finance the acquisition of five logistics assets and the development of a sixth. It was also mandated lead arranger and bookrunner on a €300 million, seven-year financing to a Generali and Antirion joint venture to finance the Saint-Gobain Tower in Paris’s La Défense district.

pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

  • Senior, development lender

  • Active in Germany, UK, France, Spain, Nordics, CEE

  • Lending in 2020: €6.4bn

  • Lending in 2021 to end Q3: €4.9bn

  • Loan book at end Q3 2021: €25.6bn

In October, the German bank provided €140 million, alongside LBBW, to maincubes for the development of a facility in Hamburg in the fast-growing data centre sector. In the same month, it partnered with Helaba for the “mid three-digit million range” acquisition financing of the Highlight Towers office building in Munich by IMFARR Beteiligungs and SN Beteiligungen Holding. In May, it joined Berlin Hyp and Helaba in a €380 million refinancing of 29 logistics assets across Germany and the Netherlands for GARBE Industrial Real Estate. In September, it provided €90 million to GreenOak Europe Core Plus Logistics for a Polish portfolio.

RBC Capital Markets

  • Senior, mezzanine, whole loan, development, loan-on-loan lender

  • Active in UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Nordics

  • Lending in 2020: Undisclosed

  • €1.5bn-plus of lending expected in 2021

  • Loan book at end Q3 2021: Undisclosed

The bank has focused its origination activity on build-to-rent, student housing, logistics and life sciences. In August, it was co-mandated lead arranger, with JPMorgan and United Overseas Bank, of a £1.2 billion bridge loan to Blackstone for the take-private of logistics owner St Modwen. In May, it provided €300 million of senior debt to Starwood Capital Group’s Irish build-to-rent platform, Urbeo Residential, against a Dublin residential portfolio. In January, it co-arranged a five-year, £80 million revolving credit facility and £70 million accordion to Supermarket Income REIT to support its UK acquisitions. In September, it was one of three banks to provide Unite Students with its first sustainability-linked loan in a £450 million deal.

Société Générale

  • Senior, mezzanine, whole loan, development, loan-on-loan lender

  • Active in France, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic

  • Lending volumes and loan book: Undisclosed

The French bank did not disclose volumes, although it was ranked number one bookrunner in Dealogic’s EMEA syndicated real estate loans ranking for H1 2021, with €1.9 billion. It played a leading role in the €310 million January financing of the SHiFT office building in Paris and was mandated lead arranger in the €350 million club financing in June of the Cap 3000 shopping centre in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France, following its refurbishment and extension. In the UK, it played a leading role in the £245.8 million financing of nine logistics assets for Blackstone in March. In June, it fully underwrote a €377 million German multifamily financing for KKR and operating partner Velero Partners.

Standard Chartered

  • Senior, mezzanine, whole loan, development lender

  • Active in Western Europe, Nordics

  • Lending in 2020: €1bn

  • Lending in 2021 to end Q3: €600m

  • Loan book at end Q3 2021: €2.5bn

The UK bank has been involved in significant deals in 2021. It was joint lead arranger, alongside Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, of the £383.4 million UK CMBS – Atom Mortgage Securities – securitising a loan made to Brookfield in June to finance four life sciences assets in England. In March, the bank was joint lead arranger, alongside Société Générale, of a €440 million, five-year syndicated loan against four grade A offices in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland for Mapletree Europe Income Trust. During Q2, it was mandated lead arranger of a £44.5 million loan to BentallGreenOak for the acquisition of a wholesale data centre near London.