Moorfield launches The White Knight Partnership (UK)

Moorfield Group has unveiled 'The White Knight Partnership' to provide partnered solutions for property owners and lenders battling today's difficult market conditions.

Moorfield is looking to build innovative relationships with property owners and lenders in order to invest capital of between £10 million and £100 million (approx. €11.4 million and €114 million) per transaction into 'stressed' situations. Joint ventures, participations or comparable agreements will be structured to enable the existing owners/borrowers to retain control of their assets and to allow them the opportunity to recover and share in the lost equity value.

Moorfield will provide comprehensive solutions to situations where it is necessary to cure a banking breach, fund capital expenditure, extend banking facilities or ensure a refinancing with new lenders before it is too late and the situation moves from 'stressed' to 'distressed'. This will enable owners/borrowers to have the time to continue to actively manage the assets and recover value.

Moorfield will not just be a capital provider but will also share its expertise and relationships in order to assist in enhancing value alongside the owner/borrower. Moorfield has areas of specialism in both traditional sectors (retail, office and industrial) and alternative sectors (hotels, pubs, student accommodation, retirement etc) of the real estate market, that include; real estate financing and active management; planning and development (including sustainability); operational and structural management, and; access to debt and equity capital.

Moorfield is opportunistic and looking to partner across all real estate sectors with investment capital that can be structured as different types of debt or equity, or a hybrid of both. The White Knight Partnership will be financed through the Moorfield Real Estate Fund II (MREF II), which raised approximately £400 million of private equity on closing at the end of 2007.

Speaking about the new initiative, Chief Executive of Moorfield, Marc Gilbard commented: "We have created The White Knight Partnership in direct response to the situations property owners and lenders may have unexpectedly found themselves in, where either financial or asset management support is needed.

"Moorfield has been both a majority and a minority investor with asset management responsibility itself and has its own recent experience of carrying out complicated refinancings, along with investing in joint ventures, so we are well aware of the issues that arise.

"Key to getting the required transaction over the line is being able to work in true partnership and understand the perspectives of all involved in order to make sure a collaborative approach is achieved."

To date MREF II has acquired assets totaling ca. £500 million. A number of the MREF II assets were acquired in joint venture partnerships including the majority of the Brindleyplace estate in Birmingham with Hines Global REIT; Sovereign Reversions plc (residential reversions) in a joint venture with Grainger plc; Audley (retirement villages) in partnership with the management team; Skypark in Glasgow with joint asset managers Resonance Capital and West Riding House in Leeds with joint asset managers Holbeck Land. MREF II continues to target opportunities in the UK.

Source: FD

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