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HSBC confirms syndication of €800m Potsdamer Platz loan

HSBC has confirmed it has syndicated a large part of the circa €800 million Potsdamer Platz loan it underwrote for Brookfield, to a group of banks and an insurance company.

HSBC has confirmed it has syndicated a large part of the circa €800 million Potsdamer Platz loan it underwrote for Brookfield, to a group of banks and an insurance company.

HSBC arranged the debt finance for the circa €1.3 billion Berlin acquisition which Brookfield Property Partners announced that it had completed in January this year. Vendor Savills Investment Management agreed to sell to the Canadian investor in September 2015 marking the largest single property transaction in Germany for eight years.

AXA Investment Managers is the insurance company which participated in the loan, while Bank of China and three German banks also took positions. The German banks were pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Helaba and Berliner Sparkasse.

Steve Willingham, HSBC’s head of European real estate finance, said the bank had retained “a sizeable” hold while syndicating the remainder to a group of banks and one insurance group. He declined to give further details of the syndicate.

The assets were previously owned by SEB ImmoInvest, one of the German open-ended funds forced to liquidate after being hit by redemption requests. The fund’s adviser, SEB Asset Management, was sold to Savills last September.

Potsdamer Platz is an iconic mixed-use development, constructed on land at the old juncture of east and west Berlin where the Berlin Wall once stood. Brookfield’s assets include the Mandala Hotel, the Arkaden shops and restaurants, a cinema and the Stage Theatre as well as the 103-metre Potsdamer Platz office tower, six other office buildings and residential.

Europroperty reported that Brookfield teamed up with Korea’s sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation on the deal.

Bank of China has been an increasingly active participant in large syndications. Last year it also took €200m of the €650 million  ‘Celsius’ senior loan originally underwritten by ING and Natixis for China Investment Corp and AEW.

This year, it was the joint underwriter with Royal Bank of Scotland of a refinancing for the Canary Wharf Group of the investor’s 50 percent stake it manages in 20 Fenchurch Street, the City of London’s ‘Walkie Talkie’ tower. Among the investors is China Investment Corp.

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