French lenders refinance LBO’s housing with placement

Private equity firm LBO France has refinanced 7,500 homes let to EDF for another nine years, in a placement structured by Natixis and placed by BNP Paribas Corporate Finance.

The two banks raised €620m of five-year money in two tranches: €420m at a variable rate and €200bn at a fixed rate. Some 60% was placed with institutional investors.

Thierry Bernard, head of real estate finance at Natixis, said: “It is rare in France that banks and institutional investors work together in such close coordination on a real estate financing operation.

“This made it possible for investors to take part in a loan syndication, whereas up until now they have mainly been present on the debt market via bond issuances.”

The homes were acquired by LBO France in a joint venture with RREEF in 2006 for €960m and 2,700 have been sold in the interim.