Legal & General has provided acquisition finance for the purchase of the Olympia London Exhibition Centre by a consortium led by Deutsche Finance International and Yoo Capital.
The five-year bilateral loan supports the £296 million purchase of the historic exhibition centre, located in the Knightsbridge area of London. L&G did not disclose the size of the loan.
The acquisition finance came from Legal & General’s Private Credit business, part of LGIM Real Assets, on behalf of Legal & General Retirement. LGR invests in high quality assets on a short and long-term basis to match UK pension liabilities.
Last week, Olympia’s former owner, Capital & Counties, announced that it had sold Venues, its exhibition business which comprises Olympia, plus related assets for £296 million to a consortium of German institutional investors including Bayerische Versorgungskammer as the single largest shareholder, the Versicherungskammer Bayern Group and DFI European Value Add Fund.
CapCo said that after repayment of debt and other costs, its net proceeds were £229 million. The cash proceeds will be used partially to repay bank debt.
Olympia London is 130 years old and is situated on a 14-acre freehold site. It hosts exhibition and events. The acquisition also involves 3.9 acres of freehold land available for hospitality, leisure and residential development.
LGIM Real Assets’ property lending business has now lent over £2 billion across 20 deals.
“Representing our first acquisition finance deal, this debt facility brings our total lending to over £2 billion and demonstrates our ability to continue to move into areas that the market might not traditionally expect to see us in,” said Ashley Goldblatt, head of commercial lending at LGIM Real Assets.
Goldblatt added that the deal proves L&G’s ability to understand and back alternative asset classes “in this case working through a complex arrangement to support a time sensitive off-market transaction, and providing a shorter-term facility”.