RBS and Crédit Agricole refinance Ropemaker London JV

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Crédit Agricole CIB have provided a £90 million loan to a joint venture between Great Portland Estates (GPE) and the BP Pension Fund, secured by the London headquarters of news broadcaster ITN.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Crédit Agricole CIB have provided a £90 million loan to a 50/50 joint venture between UK REIT Great Portland Estates (GPE) and the BP Pension Fund, secured by the London headquarters of news broadcaster ITN.

The two banks have provided the five-year non-recourse loan to The Great Ropemaker Partnership, secured by the long leasehold interests at 200 and 214 Gray’s Inn Road.

The refinancing reflects a 41 percent loan-to-value ratio and carries an all-in coupon of 2.67 percent, significantly below the 4.52 percent coupon on the previous loan, GPE said.

200 Gray's Inn Road
200 Gray’s Inn Road

The Ropemaker Partnership bought the properties from Beacon Capital for £132.75 million in October 2011, financed by a £73 million seven-year loan from RBS and Deka.

In its half-year results in November, GPE said that it was exploring opportunities to extend the maturity and reduce the interest rate margin on the loan, which it said at the time stood at 2.4 percent.

“We are pleased to have arranged this attractively priced loan for GRP with counterparties of the quality of RBS and Crédit Agricole CIB. This financing both reduces our finance costs and enhances our debt maturity profile,” said Nick Sanderson, GPE’s finance director.

The Great Ropemaker Partnership was formed in 2008 to own and develop a 207,000 square foot office, retail and residential scheme at 240 Blackfriars Road. The joint venture has subsequently invested in other properties.

The adjacent 200 and 214 Gray’s Inn Road were designed by Foster and Partners and developed in 1990 by ITN as its headquarters and broadcasting space. The 246,500 square foot 200 Gray’s Inn Road is let to tenants including Warner Brothers and Carlton Communications, as well as ITN. The 45,500 square foot 214 Gray’s Inn Road mainly contains car parking and back-up accommodation for the other building and is mainly let to ITN.

Crédit Agricole CIB acted as facility and security agent and RBS as documentation agent.

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