ING Real Estate Finance has provided a €42 million loan to 90 North Real Estate Partners to finance its acquisition of the newly-built global headquarters of construction group Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) in Leiden, the Netherlands.
90 North, which invests on behalf of Middle Eastern investors and is chaired by entrepreneur James Caan, acquired the 222,000 square foot building from a fund managed by Standard Life Investments. The building was bought for €70 million, putting the loan-to-value of ING’s financing at 60 percent.
The deal takes 90 North’s total investment in European and US real estate to more than €1.17 million since founding partners Philip Churchill and Nick Judd launched the business in 2011. The deal follows the 90 North model of co-investing with a small group of Shari’ah-compliant partners in the Middle East.
Dubai-based Arzan Wealth advised 90 North on the structuring and acquisition of the Leiden property, which is 90 North’s sixth transaction in 2016, despite concerns that Middle Eastern investors may cut their allocations to real estate this year as a result of the prevailing low oil price.
Judd told Real Estate Capital that Middle Eastern investors continue to diversify their capital out of the region and into real estate. He said the Leiden building – let to HMC on a 20-year lease – embodied the “relatively safe”, income-producing investments with blue-chip tenants currently in demand.
He added: “This is about wealth preservation but the income is a very important component. We believe this strategy will stand the test of time, particularly at a time of increased economic and political uncertainty.”
Cherine Aboulzelof, partner and head of continental Europe at 90 North, said: “The Netherlands is an attractive market with a strategic location in Europe. This is the second transaction we have completed in the country within the last 12 months. With a strengthening economy outperforming European neighbours, we expect the Netherlands to continue to provide attractive opportunities.”