Bedell Cristin recently acted as Jersey counsel to Tower 42 Holdings Limited in connection with its purchase of the Tower 42 Estate for a price of £282.5 million from the BlackRock UK Property Fund, the Royal Mail Pension Plan, the Hermes Property Unit Trust and the BT Pension Scheme. The price was partly funded by a secured fixed rate loan financing of £145 million for 20 years from Aviva Commercial Finance Limited.
Bedell Cristin's investment funds partner, Simon Hopwood, led the deal and was assisted by Emily Picot. Macfarlanes LLP acted as English counsel to Tower 42 Holdings Limited.
The Estate, in the heart of the City, is a freehold 2.2 acre site with six individual buildings comprising of three modern developments including 20 Old Broad Street, 30 Old Broad Street and the Plaza Restaurant and two additional buildings including 15 Bishopsgate and the Grade I Listed Gibson Hall, which total, in aggregate, almost 900,000 sq ft gross.
The centrepiece, Tower 42, at more than 600 ft in height, is one of the tallest buildings in the City of London. It has 320,000 sq ft of rentable space, which is 95% let and continues to attract tenants who seek high quality, flexible office space in a 100% prime location.
Despite the general lack of bank finance at present, the loan financing package for Tower 42 clearly demonstrates that long term funding is available for prime assets with long term growth potential.
South African entrepreneur Natie Kirsh commented: “we are delighted to have completed the purchase of Tower 42 and thrilled that Aviva have provided about 50% of the money on a 20 year facility which supports our long term investment philosophy as we grow our international property portfolio”.
Kevin Sale, commercial finance director at Aviva, said: “we are very pleased to establish the relationship with Kirsh and assist in the funding of such an iconic and prime property. This is further evidence of our ability to fund high quality transactions with property investors who have a long term outlook”.
Simon Hopwood, partner at Bedell Cristin, said: “we were delighted to have assisted Tower 42 Holdings Limited in the acquisition of such an iconic property investment. The transaction was complex, and required significant effort on the part of all concerned to achieve completion within the agreed timetable. I am pleased that our team rose to the challenge with a high standard of proficiency and dedication. This transaction is another example of Bedell Cristin's capability to handle high-end and high-profile real estate deals”.