Lack of lending prompts Topland to move into mezzanine finance (UK)

Taking advantage of the difficult lending conditions for investors and developers Topland today unveiled details of a new £200 million (approx. €229 mln.) investment program in mezzanine financing and preferred equity.

The property vehicle of brothers Eddie and Sol Zakay said that initial transactions would be UK focused but that the company has an appetite to expand the business into Europe.

The venture is targeting small to medium sized property companies by providing mezzanine funding for transactions totaling between £5 mln. and £50 mln.

Tom Betts, Topland's Director real estate finance said: "Clearly it has become a very difficult funding environment for many property investors and developers. Many traditional funding sources are just not there at the moment. We think we can provide an attractive offering for pro-active players who are seeking ways of keeping in control and keeping their bankers at bay.

"Topland is a cash rich private company which means as a White Knight we can approve and finance transactions very rapidly. It is also an interesting diversification for us because it creates new relationships and can unlock new opportunities for us."

Betts added: "We also remain committed to our core business of investment and development. We have recently been looking at a number of substantial office investments in the City and at a prestigious hotel in the West End. In terms of investment we will look at single investments with a minimum lot size of £2 million to portfolios and sale-and-leasebacks of up to £2 billion."

In terms of development Topland is currently exploring both commercial and residential opportunities. Betts added: "We are currently looking at several proposed joint ventures and have been offered some interesting forward funding situations on pre-let schemes needing finance."

Source: MJ2 Limited

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