Highcross secures £175 mln funding package (UK)

Newbury-headquartered Highcross, a property fund manager specializing in property investment and development opportunities across the UK, has secured a £175 mln (approx. €210 mln) facility from a group of four banks: Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking (RBS CIB), Barclays, HSBC and Santander.

Highcross is one of the biggest industrial landlords in the UK with a nationwide property portfolio that provides 32 mln ft² (approx. 2,972,800 m²) of office and industrial space to 4,500 occupiers. In spite of the tough economic conditions facing many businesses the firm has performed strongly over the last 12 months, letting 1.6 mln ft² of office and industrial space through more than 160 new lettings. It currently has £1.3 bln of assets under management.

The funding package - which was co-led by RBS CIB and Barclays - refinances the existing Highcross facilities for the most recent of its three investment vehicles for institutional investors (HXRUK III Limited), which was started in 2008.

The new facility, which has been agreed for four years, provides funding to continue to pursue asset management opportunities and will facilitate the return of cash to investors as selective disposals are made ahead of fund maturity in 2018.

Mike Megan, finance director, Highcross, said: "We are delighted to have secured this funding. In spite of the tough economic conditions, we have continued to perform strongly with some very successful deals.

"Our focus on adding value to our office and industrial investments continues to bring positive results and this new funding package will enable us to deliver our strategy to drive positive returns for our investors."

Stuart Heslop, regional managing director, Real Estate Finance, RBS CIB, said: "Highcross is an excellent fund manager which we have been proud to support for the last 15 years.

"The transaction was selectively marketed and there was strong interest from the real estate finance market, which resulted in commitment levels of the lending group being scaled back and final pricing being reduced from the initial indicative price. This is testament to the high regard in which Highcross' management is held in its market.

"This deal not only underlines RBS CIB's commitment to the commercial property sector but also our support for regional economies and businesses across the UK."

Kate Jeffs, Relationship Director, Barclays who co-arranged the deal added: "Highcross has long been recognized as a leading regional fund manager and their expertise continues to ensure a strong performance. Our significant new contribution to this funding package cements our relationship with the firm and demonstrates our understanding of the business which enabled us to deliver a financing solution to help Highcross to meet their strategic objectives."

Source: Citigate Dewe Rogerson

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