WELPUT and MetLife sign new £85 million facility (UK)

The West End of London Property Unit Trust ('WELPUT') managed by Schroder Property and advised by Grafton Advisors, and MetLife, Inc. have announced that they have signed a new £85-million credit facility.

The six-year, £85-million (approx. €103-million) facility, is secured by fixed charges over various assets owned by the Trust and the cost of the initial drawing under the facility reflects a fixed rate of 3.64% per annum. Laxfield Capital, a debt origination, execution and loan management business, worked with MetLife on the transaction.

MetLife provides loans on office, multi-family, industrial and retail properties in the US and internationally with a commercial mortgage portfolio of circa US $40 billion.

Jane Gravestock, Head of Fund Management for UK Specialist Funds, Schroders, comments: "We are very pleased to be starting 2012 in such a strong position having entered into this new relationship with MetLife, representing the first time we have secured debt from an insurance company. Together with the equity raised by WELPUT last year, this facility supports our strong, well-financed capital base.

"This also provides us with additional resource to both take advantage of new investment opportunities as well as continuing our strategy of pursuing income and value enhancing initiatives within the existing portfolio."

Paul Wilson, Regional Director for MetLife Investments Limited, added: "MetLife's strong presence in the U.K. for more than 10 years has enabled us to become a major lender on high quality London properties.

"The London real estate market is an important part of MetLife's commercial real estate lending area, and we are committed to establishing long-term relationships with top-tier institutional real estate owners on prime assets."

Source: FTI Consulting

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