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UK bank backs Chinese insurer’s £327m Tower Place purchase

A UK clearing bank has financed Chinese insurer Ping An’s £327m purchase of Tower Place, London, Real Estate Capital can reveal.

A UK clearing bank has financed Chinese insurer Ping An’s £327m purchase of Tower Place, London, Real Estate Capital can reveal.

Tower Place croppedLloyds has issued a five-year loan of more than £200m, which reflects a loan-to-value of around 62%. Ping An was advised on its purchase by private equity fund manager Gaw Capital.

The bank has been aiming to diversify its client base to include major overseas investors, in addition to its traditional UK customers, since John Feeney, its managing director and global head of commercial real estate, joined the bank nearly two years ago.

The 385,000 sq ft office property in the City’s insurance district is primarily leased to insurer Marsh & McLennan.

Madeleine McDougall, Lloyd’s global corporate real estate head of origination said: “This agreement with Ping An Insurance, one of China’s major financial sponsors, represents our appetite to support major inward investment into UK real estate from global institutions. In this capacity, we can help international investors leverage our extensive expertise of the UK market. Tower Place is a landmark building in the City and a trophy asset.”

McDougall joined the bank in September, replacing Barry Fowler who left to join Aviva Commercial Finance.

Last September the bank reshuffled its real estate lending team. Feeney took on responsibility for all real estate clients with a debt requirement of over £10m and the corporate real estate global corporates team, which focused on deals of £50m-£200m, and the mid markets team, which focused on deals of £10m-£50m, were combined.

Lloyds Bank Commercial Real Estate and Capital Markets teams in Singapore supported the deal. Lloyds Bank was also advised by Clifford Chance and Ping An was advised by Mayer Brown.

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