As 2017 drew to a close, Enness Commercial completed on one of its largest ever commercial finance facilities. The £17million facility, taken out by two foreign investors, has been our largest commercial deal this year.
The portfolio in question consisted of a diverse range of assets, including a student accommodation block, a large government building, an office block and a job centre. To complicate the case even further, these buildings were spread across London, Bradford, Scotland and Wales.
Of the four properties, the clients were looking to refinance three of the securities and purchase the fourth. However, the tenants of the fourth property—a government department—had publicly announced they were potentially going to utilise the break-clause in their contract, meaning the tenancy of the unit was unsecure.
The assets were also owned in a complicated manner, being held in Special Purpose Vehicles across three jurisdictions—China, Guernsey and the British Virgin Islands.
The clients behind the deal were two Asian investors, neither of whom spend a great deal of time in the UK. This stands as testament to the fact foreign investors still have a healthy interest in UK commercial property.
To find a solution for this case, I needed to approach a lender with a flexible attitude and the ability to encompass the full range of assets. Fortunately, we have an excellent relationship with just such a lender.
This lender’s flexible approach made them the ideal match for this case, considering the mixed nature of the portfolio. Some lenders might be happy to work with the student accommodation block in Scotland, but not the property in Wales—this lender was able to consider the entire portfolio, enabling us to reach this solution.
This was an intensely complicated and challenging case, for which I was delighted to find a successful resolution. This loan represents the ongoing viability of commercial property in the UK; foreign investors are certainly not being put off by Brexit.