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PGIM REF finances Fox Court acquisition

PGIM Real Estate Finance has provided a £50.1 million loan to the buyer of the Fox Court office building in London’s Midtown area.

PGIM Real Estate Finance has provided a £50.1 million loan to the buyer of the Fox Court office building in London’s Midtown area.

The 15-year loan is secured by the 103,555 square foot building on Gray’s Inn Road, which is majority-let to US shared workspace provider WeWork.

PGIM REF, formerly known as Pricoa Mortgage Capital, did not divulge the identity of the sponsor. Fox Court has changed hands three times in the last two years. In April 2015, Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust sold the building to Magnus Real Estate, a subsidiary of Karlin Real Estate, for £70 million. Just one month later, in May 2015, US private equity firm Kildare Partners bought Fox Court alongside a portfolio of 30 secondary assets known as Project Carolus from Karlin for a combined price of £260 million, according to a CoStar article at the time.

Kildare instructed Cushman & Wakefield to sell Fox Court last October, following the successful sale of other buildings in London which featured WeWork as tenant.

Fox Court was built in 1976. It has subsequently undergone two major refurbishments, most recently in 2015.

“Our decision to proceed with PGIM for this financing was justified by the smooth and efficient process from start to finish that enabled our client to complete within the targeted timeframe and on very competitive terms,” said Adam Butcher, a principal with financial advisory firm Butcher Barnet Spencer, which advised the sponsor on the transaction.

“The growing demand for flexible space provides an interesting opportunity to finance a non-traditional office sector, particularly as PGIM continues to expand its debt offering,” said Aaron Knight, a director with PGIM’s London office who led the debt transaction. “Given the improvements in the variety and quality of office space available, we expect Midtown to withstand any potential Brexit impact because of its diverse tenant mix, which also has strong ties to the resilient legal profession.”

“This transaction is an example of increasing demand in the market for core plus and value-add properties,” said Bryan McDonnell, a principal with PGIM’s London office. “Borrowers who are faced with high single tenant concentrations and near term lease roll, or those seeking higher whole loan leverage, are looking beyond the typical core lending market.”