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Wells Fargo, pbb back Clearbell with £123m

Wells Fargo and pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank have provided a total of £123m in two deals backing Clearbell Capital's purchases of retail, industrial and office assets. The loans priced at 200bps and 210bps over three-month LIBOR, respectively.

Wells Fargo and pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank have provided a total of £123m in two deals backing Clearbell Capital’s purchases of retail, industrial and office assets.

The loans priced at 200bps and 210bps over three-month LIBOR, respectively.

“It’s getting easier to finance and it’s getting cheaper,” said Rob West, partner at London-based Clearbell. “It’s a good market to be looking for financing. We have a gearing cap of around 65%, so we’re not looking for high levels of leverage but high levels are available.”

Rob West
Rob West

Wells Fargo provided a £100m loan to Clearbell for its £153m acquisition of the mixed-use Amber Portfolio from Aberdeen Asset Management.

The five-year facility costs about 200bps over three-month LIBOR and reflects a loan-to-value of 65%.

The portfolio contains 29 retail, industrial and office assets located across the UK with about half in the South East. The largest tenants include B&Q, Travis Perkins, LG Electronics and Vodafone.

Clearbell said it would increase the value of the portfolio “by letting currently vacant units, completing transactions that are either under offer or agreed, and through committing significant capital expenditure to asset improvements”.

In a separate transaction, pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank provided £23m for Clearbell’s £51m purchase from Stirling Investments of the Stephenson Portfolio of business and industrial assets.

The five-year facility costs about 210bps over three-month LIBOR and reflects a loan-to-value of 45%.

The portfolio, which will be renamed Polaris, contains 14 assets in the UK, two-thirds of which are industrial, a quarter warehouses and 10% office assets. The largest tenants include Silentnight, Jeyes, Garnett Dickinson and DavyMarkham.

About half of Clearbell’s portfolio is located in London and the South East. Offices make up about 43% of its assets. The fund manager raised nearly £500m late last year for its Clearbell Property Partners II fund.

Together with Rockspring, it bought in June a site at Stockley Park, one of the UK’s most successful office campuses, to speculatively develop the 140,000 sq ft The Bower scheme.

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