Helaba continues UK drive with London office tower loan – Exclusive

The German bank has provided £55m for the acquisition of The Relay Building by a consortium including affiliates of Harbor Group International and ZC Ronogil.

Germany’s Helaba has financed the acquisition of The Relay Building in central London with a £55 million (€61.7 million) loan.

The five-year facility, arranged by debt advisory firm BBS Capital, has been provided to support the purchase of the mixed-used tower by affiliates of Harbor Group International, along with affiliates of joint-venture partner ZC Ronogil. The consortium acquired the tower for £90.75 million, which implies a loan-to-value ratio of 61 percent.

Built in 2014, the 105,996-square-feet property comprising office and retail space is let to a range of blue-chip tenants including Blockchain, MindSpace, Paddy Power, Pret a Manger and Tesco. The building is located at 114 Whitechapel High Street in Aldgate, an area that has benefited from substantial development, investment and regeneration activity in recent years.

“The significant appetite from lenders allowed us to be selective. Our decision to go with Helaba was based on a combination of highly competitive economics and our confidence in their ability to meet the required closing timetable, which was very important for our clients,” said Joanne Barnett of BBS Capital.

“The deal demonstrates that well-located London real estate remains an attractive asset class for global investors and debt providers alike,” she added.

Helaba has faith in the UK real estate market. In November last year, the bank financed another London office purchase by Harbor, with a five-year, £31.2 million loan for 8 Bouverie Street in central London.

In 2017, Helaba’s new lending in the UK totalled €470 million, up by 81.6 percent, year-on-year, according to the bank’s latest annual report.