Hercules Unit Trust Joint Venture Signs £150 million Refinancing
The Gibraltar Limited Partnership, a joint venture which is 50% owned by Hercules Unit Trust ("Hercules"), the specialist retail warehouse fund managed by Schroder Property and advised by British Land*, has agreed a new £150 million five year loan facility with Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG and Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale, London Branch.
The loan will be used, together with existing cash held by the Partnership, to repay in full the existing debt finance, which would have matured in July 2012. The all-in rate on the loan, including margin and arrangement fee, is significantly less than the interest rate under the existing finance.
Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG and Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale, London Branch have acted as Arrangers of the new facility and have provided the interest rate swap. Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG will act as Facility Agent and Security Agent.
When combined with the £350 million of financing signed in September 2011, Hercules and its joint venture partners have now successfully agreed £500 million of new finance within the last nine months.
* British Land has a 41% interest in Hercules Unit Trust
Sally Jones, British Land 020 7467 2942
Pip Wood, British Land 020 7467 2838
Guy Lamming, Finsbury Group/ 020 7251 3801
Gordon Simpson, Finsbury Group
Notes to Editors
About British Land
British Land is one of Europe's largest Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) with total assets, owned or managed, of £15.7 billion (British Land share £10.3 billion), as valued at 31 December 2011. Through our property and finance expertise we attract experienced partners to create properties and environments which are home to over 1,000 different organisations and visited by over 250 million people each year. Our property portfolio is focused on prime retail locations and Central London offices which attract high quality occupiers committed to long leases. Our occupancy rate of 98% and average lease length to first break of 12 years are among the highest of the major UK REITs.
Retail assets account for 61% of our portfolio, over 80% of which are located at prime out-of-town sites. Comprising around 27 million sq ft of retail space across 91 retail warehouse properties, 99 superstores, 11 shopping centres and 10 department stores, the retail portfolio is generally modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats. Active asset management delivers attractive space to both retailers and consumers.
London offices, located in the City and West End, comprise 33% of the portfolio (rising to an estimated 38% on completion of current developments) with 7 million sq ft of office space including Broadgate, the premier City office campus (50% share) and Regent's Place in the West End. We have committed £1.1 billion to create Central London's largest committed office development programme which will deliver 2.2 million sq ft of high quality space by 2014, including a 700,000 sq ft building at 5 Broadgate, the 610,000 sq ft Leadenhall Building in London's insurance district and a 500,000 sq ft mixed office and residential scheme at Regent's Place in the West End.
Our size and substance demands a responsible approach to business and we focus on five areas which matter most to us and our key stakeholders: managing buildings efficiently; developing sustainable buildings; enhancing biodiversity; exceeding customers' expectations and focusing on local communities. We believe leadership on issues such as sustainability helps drive our performance and is core to our corporate aim of building the best REIT in Europe.
Schroders has managed property funds since 1971 and has £9.6 billion (EUR 11.5 billion / US$14.9 billion) of gross property assets under management (at 31 December 2011) and has around 90 property staff located in 9 offices across the UK and Europe. All of the property funds referred to are unauthorised collective investment schemes as defined in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Promotion of these funds is restricted and access to full information about these funds is only available to those exempt from the restriction.
Schroder Property Investment Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
About Hercules Unit Trust
Hercules Unit Trust (HUT) is a Jersey-based closed-ended property unit trust with a fixed life which has been extended to 2020, and is subject to further extension with unitholder consent. HUT's primary investment focus is major retail warehouse or shopping park properties with a value in excess of £20 million in the United Kingdom and, in particular, those properties that dominate their catchment area, offer a critical mass of retailing and, where possible, have the benefit of Open A1 planning consent. HUT is the UK's largest specialist retail warehouse property unit trust with a portfolio of £1.6 billion. As at 31 December 2011, the Trust owned and managed 21 retail and shopping parks, including Glasgow Fort Shopping Park in Glasgow and Fort Kinnaird Shopping Park in Edinburgh, providing around 4.5 million sq ft of retail park space. Key tenants include Next, Boots, Arcadia, Marks & Spencer, Walmart, Kingfisher Group, DSG, JJB Sports and New Look.
British Land is HUT's property adviser and Schroder Property Managers (Jersey) Ltd is the Fund Manager.
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