Bidders approach servicer with bids for White Tower

Several investors and banks are trying to buy the entire White Tower London office portfolio from its special servicer, CB Richard Ellis Loan Servicing.

CBRELS said last month in a note to investors in the £1.15bn securitisation secured on the properties, that it expected to sell the nine assets ‘piecemeal’ between now and the end of 2011, when the bonds are due to be repaid, in order to obtain maximum value.

But sources said there have been three proposals from banks and investors interested in buying all the properties, last valued in June at £929m, who hope to convince the special servicer to sell.

Helical Bar is said to be one of the property companies that has made a proposal. One banker said they had been approached to join three lending syndicates. However, the offers are not thought to be above £900m, a level that would wipe out the class Es, Ds and most of the Cs in the A note.

The quantum of debt being discussed – £500m – is larger than any refinancing attempted since the credit crunch, apart from that of Lakeside. Another banker said: “They are trying to solve the unsolvable. The value of most of the assets will fall because they need substantial amounts of work and have leases that end in  the next few years. I’ve seen at least one proposal that looks like a 2007 deal.”

  • White Tower class A bond-holders will meet on 6 January to vote on whether to amend the documentation to prevent an event of default.