Refinancing deal for Birmingham property

CB Richard Ellis’ (CBRE) UK Debt Advisory team has arranged an £8.325 million facility to refinance the 38,400 sq ft National Express Coach Terminal and HQ in Birmingham on behalf of W. P. Carey & Co. LLC, an investment management firm listed in New York.

It is the first refinancing that the team has closed outside of London this year and indicates that debt finance is still available for high quality assets in regional locations. This transaction is part of a wider financing mandate for the CBRE EMEA Debt Advisory team, incorporating 15 properties in the UK, Germany, Spain and France, acquired under sale-and-leaseback agreements by WP Carey.

Natale Giostra, Head of UK & EMEA Debt Advisory, CBRE, said: “While accessing new debt for assets outside of London remains challenging, we have shown that a successful refinancing is possible with a high quality asset and a borrower with an excellent reputation. Through our extensive knowledge of the real estate debt market, we were able to generate very competitive offers for the client.

“Whether it is for assets in regional or prime central London locations, lenders in the UK are continuing to closely analyse the fundamentals of each property on a case-by-case basis. Competition for debt finance amongst borrowers is still high and only the best structured propositions are being accepted, so borrowers must build and present their financing proposals carefully to be successful.”

W. P. Carey acquired the National Express Coach Terminal under a sale-and-leaseback agreement from National Express for its CPA®:17 – Global REIT in December 2009. Following the acquisition, it was extensively redeveloped into a state-of-the art concourse, office and retail space, and is currently the busiest non-airport UK coach terminal outside of London.

The terminal and offices space is let on a 25 year lease with no breaks (from December 2009) to National Express, with the retail units sub-let to Starbucks, WH Smith and Upper Crust.

H. Cabot Lodge III, President at W. P. Carey said: “Through our funds, W. P. Carey holds an extensive portfolio of assets in Europe and across the globe. We engaged CBRE to assist us with the refinancing of a number of similar high quality European assets within our CPA®:17 – Global REIT to allow us to concentrate on portfolio strategy and execution.

“It is testament to the strength of the asset and CBRE’s expertise that we were able to arrange these facilities in the current credit markets and economic climate.”