Pricoa Mortgage Capital closes first UK commercial real estate loan (US/UK)

Pricoa Mortgage Capital has closed a £70 million commercial real estate loan in the UK, the first financing since launching its European business earlier this year. Pricoa, among the largest commercial mortgage lenders in the United States, is the commercial mortgage lending business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), which is headquartered in the US.

The loan is secured by a portfolio of UK properties: four multi-tenanted office properties in central London and a grocery-anchored retail property in the historic town of Bath. The 11-year financing marks Pricoa's first secured commercial real estate debt transaction in Europe since opening its London advisory office in January 2012.

The portfolio's sponsor, the O&H Group, is a family run business with considerable real estate holdings and development projects in central London and throughout the UK.

In 2012 Pricoa is targeting £325 million (€400 million) of long-term, fixed-rate senior debt transactions in Europe, with the ability to do significantly more than this. The European program is similar to the loan structures the company offers in the US, and as in the US, there is the ability to fund individual transactions of significant size. All debt will be denominated in local currency and secured by income-producing real estate.

Initially the company is focusing on office, logistics, multifamily, and retail properties in and around large population centers such as London, Paris, and the major cities in Germany. On the European continent such financing transactions may also be structured in collaboration with local banks.

"The diversification we can achieve by investing a portion of our portfolio outside of the US, whether it's Europe, Japan, or Mexico, is very valuable," said Thor Orndahl, a Managing Director who oversees Pricoa's non-US mortgage platform. "The current market dislocation has provided the opening we have been looking for, and our plan is to be active in Europe for many years to come."

Drew Abernethy, Head of European Origination advice, added, "Pricoa is very pleased to have closed this first transaction so soon after introducing its European program. It illustrates the strength of the Pricoa platform globally, a commitment to Europe specifically, and an earnest belief that clients like O&H should have access to the type of long-term financing that they want."

Established in 1982, the O&H Group is a privately owned business with more than 50 employees and net assets exceeding £600 million. Headquartered in Mayfair, the key principals have worked together for decades building a large development and core property portfolio.

"We have been extremely impressed by the way the Pricoa team understood and accommodated our long-term business requirements and we are delighted to be involved in their first European transaction. We look forward to building on this relationship," said David Gabbay, Chairman of the O&H Group.

Source: FTI Consulting

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