Wells Fargo helps back Brookfield’s City tower buy

Canada’s Brookfield Office Properties has financed the acquisition of 99 Bishopsgate in the City, with senior debt from US bank Wells Fargo, Aareal Bank and Santander.

Brookfield acquired the 26- floor tower from Hammerson last month as part of a London office portfolio bought for £518m. The club is lending £130m, which is thought to equate to around a 55% loan-to-value ratio.

About 100,000 sq ft of the 340,000 sq ft, multi-let tower is vacant after Deutsche Bank left late last year, so letting it will be Brookfield’s immediate priority.

Martin Jepson, UK head of Brookfield Office Properties, said: “The minute you bring risk into a deal it is not an easy climate to finance.”

Wells Fargo returned to London lending at the start of this year, focusing on deals with North American sponsors it already knows.

It jointly refinanced 123 Buckingham Palace Road in Victoria and 10 Dolphin Square, SW1 for US private equity fund manager Westbrook Partners, the first with MetLife, and was part of a club that financed Black-stone’s purchase of a London & Stamford UK logistics portfolio.

At the end of September Brookfield completed the purchase and financing for 99 Bishopsgate, the 830,000 sq ft Principal Place development site and two smaller assets. Next year it will pay £189m for Hammerson’s 50% share of 125 Old Broad Street EC2 and Leadenhall Court EC3.

Visiting London last month, Dennis Friedrich, new chief executive at Brookfield Office Properties, called the City leasing market “flat” but not “horrible”. Brookfield has yet to prelet its 948,600 sq ft proposed 100 Bishopsgate development.