CAPITAL WATCH: recent lending deals

Real Estate Capital market commentary

• Morgan Stanley has had an active start to 2015, agreeing to underwrite a €294m loan for REIT Starwood Property Trust’s acquisition of 12 offices and one residential investment in Dublin from Lone Star, for €452m. The US bank also refinanced another high-profile Irish investment, Green Property’s 1.5m sq ft Blanchardstown town centre on the edge of Dublin, with a €750m whole loan comprising €587m of senior and €163m of mezzanine.

• Dolphin Square, a big mansion block near the UK’s Houses of Parliament, London, was refinanced by owner Westbrook Partners with a 10-year, £500m senior loan from insurers MetLife and M&G Investments. The loan, at a margin of about 200bps, enables Westbrook to take equity out of the investment.

• Japanese banks’ increase in lending in Europe was marked by Shinsei Bank’s acquisition of a participation in the loan which Lloyds Bank made earlier this year for Chinese insurance group Ping An. The prime asset, Tower Place, is in the City of London’s insurance district. Shinsei was one of the four banks that took a participation in the loan to the Safra family secured on the ‘Gherkin’ at St Mary Axe, underwritten by ING.

• Among the corporate facilities closed in the past few weeks was a huge, £1.25bn revolver for Land Securities, provided by an eight bank syndicate at a very low margin of 75bps. UK logistics and retail warehousing specialist London & Metric also put in place £400m of new debt, in a facility from five banks.

• GE Capital Real Estate closed what may turn out to have been its last loan in Europe, after parent GE announced it was withdrawing from most lending, including all property lending. GE Capital Real Estate’s European team, led by Ellen Brunsberg, won a mandate from Northstar Realty for €315m of debt finance to acquire a 38-strong, pan-European portfolio. The acquisition is Northstar’s second
big pan-European package, with Aareal Bank showing its ability to win deals it really wants and underwriting all €530m for Northstar’s SEB portfolio deal.

• Two financings in Bucharest show debt liquidity returning to Romania. Turkey’s Garanti Bank and two US hedge funds were the lenders stepping up to the plate.

• There was more development financing for experienced sponsors, with Allied London raising debt to develop the next stage of its Spinningfields complex in central Manchester, and Tishman Speyer winning backing from HSH Nordbank for a new tower in Frankfurt.

Click here to see March and April 2015 deals: Capital watch: recent lending deals