IEF Capital, the owner of a portfolio of high street retail properties in the Netherlands, has completed the repayment of more than €1 billion of legacy CMBS debt after refinancing the outstanding €480 million held against the assets.
ING, Berlin Hyp and Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance have refinanced the retail portfolio, allowing IEF Capital to repay debt securitised in the Leo-Mesdag CMBS, on behalf of the IEF Capital Berlage fund. The fund had begun its refinancing strategy in 2014 and the debt was due to mature later this year.
ING and Berlin Hyp provided a €415 million loan, with Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance providing €65 million. ING provided €295 million of the joint loan with Berlin Hyp and plans to syndicate part of the facility.
IEF Capital is a joint venture between Dutch investor Bouwfonds Investment Management and IEF (Inflation Exchange Fund). The JV owns a portfolio valued at around €1.6 billion consisting of prime city centre shops in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and other Dutch cities. The JV was formed in 2001.
In September 2006, Dutch banks NIBC and ING closed the €1.05 billion Leo-Mesdag CMBS. The deal securitised debt provided to a consortium including IEF Capital, Bouwfonds Asset Management and PGGM for their acquisition of the property portfolio of retailer Maxeda, formerly known as Vendex KBB. The CMBS deal was the fourth to be arranged by NIBC and the second from its Mesdag conduit program.
The securitised loan was originally secured by 70 high street retail properties and three car parks, which were all let on long term lease contracts to retailers Hema, V&D and Bijenkorf.
In total, the IEF Capital Berlage fund has five separate ongoing financing arrangements with Dutch and foreign banks as well as other institutional parties. In September 2014, Berlin Hyp and Helaba provided €197.8 million to refinance 18 properties.
The underlying property portfolio financed in the latest deal contains assets including De Bijenkorf department stores in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, as well as two buildings previously leased by failed department store chain V&D in the cities of Groningen and Nijmegen. Both properties have since been almost completely leased and will be renovated over the next six months.
The €65 million loan provided by Syntrus Achmea financed the Hema and the former V&D building in the centre of The Hague, along the Grote Marktstraat. The redevelopment of the former V&D building was started in April 2016 and is expected to be finished before the end of the year.
“We are very proud that with this significant underwriting, ING once again played a leading role in refinancing one of the best retail portfolios in the Netherlands. Despite the turbulence on the Dutch retail market, the portfolio proved to be extremely robust. We are fully confident that due to its active management IEF Capital will continue to further optimise the portfolio,” said Peter Brandsma, director of corporate clients at ING Real Estate Finance.
“We believe in the attractiveness of the high streets of Dutch city centres. IEF and Bouwfonds Investment Management have proven themselves capable of tackling today’s challenges in the retail market,” said Rogier Bos, head of real estate finance Belelux at Berlin Hyp.
“We chose ING and BerlinHyp because in addition to their competitive market rates they also express confidence in our portfolio, our organisation and business plans. To us, their confidence is of crucial importance in the long-term relationship that we are continuing for many years by closing this financing arrangement. This attractive financing, the largest in the fund, translates into a further continuation of our relationship and provides us with the opportunity to optimally execute our activities in this property portfolio,” said Nechemja de Bruijn, fund manager with IEF Capital.