Dutch Retail Fund adds new banks for €550m refinancing

One of the largest non-listed funds in the Netherlands has completed a €550m refinancing. The €2bn CBRE Dutch Retail Fund (DRET) diversified its lender group with Aareal Bank, ABN Amro and Deutsche Hypo joining long-time relationship lender ING Bank.

ABN Amro was jointly mandated with ING Bank on a €325m, four-year revolving credit facility, while Aareal and Deutsche Hypo took out a €225m bridge facility from ING. ING financed the bridging loan in December 2012, when there was less liquidity in the Dutch property banking market, to give DRET time to achieve the best terms.

DRET chief financial officer Richard van Altena said: “There was clearly activity from German pfandbriefbanks in 2013 and we went with Aareal and Deutsche Hypo because their offer was competitive in terms of pricing and duration of loans, but also it fitted the fund’s envisaged refinancing structure.”

Aareal financed a €150m, seven-year loan and Deutsche Hypo a €75m, five-year facility. “In 2009-2010 the debt markets almost closed in the Netherlands; some banks were totally inactive,” van Altena said. “So in our refinancing strategy we wanted a more diversified maturity profile to give us the future flexibility to refinance at different points in the market.”

The leverage is conservative and the margin is thought to be less than 250 basis points. DRET converted from a closed-ended fund to a semi-open-ended one in 2007. It has 108 properties and is CBRE Global Investors’ biggest Dutch fund. Van Altena’s team is working on a €500m refinancing this year for CBRE’s €1.5bn Dutch office fund and will also be refinancing part of the debt in its €1.3bn Dutch residential fund.