Asset management and real estate investment firm Round Hill Capital and private markets firm StepStone Group Real Estate LP have refinanced their Nordic logistics and industrial real estate portfolio , which comprises 327,649 sqm across 13 assets in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
The new loan facility, with a leading global insurance institution, is for a five year term and also covers financing for all currently identified capital expenditure projects, which are highly value accretive.
The refinancing followed the successful delivery of an identified programme of value adding active asset management initiatives by Round Hill, as the Manager, since acquiring the Portfolio in September 2016, underlining how much the assets have been further strengthened and repositioned. These initiatives are being delivered through Round Hill’s strong on the ground local management expertise and presence, which continue to be further enhanced in the Nordic region, complemented by its existing management capabilities.
The key asset management highlights include:
- Signed 44 new leases totalling 130,143 sqm, representing 40% of the total lettable area, which has increased occupancy by over 10% to 85%.
- Increased the weighted average lease term of the Portfolio to almost five years from three years, with lease agreements setting new market precedents for rents for their respective areas.
- Round Hill’s active approach has been received well by tenants who have been looking for security of tenure.
- Sold five non-core assets for attractive returns.
- Delivering significant value-add initiatives on five assets, which include on-going work to agree significant new leases with tenants, asset extensions and to optimise the use of the land and re-zoning the land to higher value uses.
Round Hill and Stepstone Real Estate’s legal advisors to the transaction were DLA Piper and CBRE Debt Advisors assisted in the process.
Commenting on the transaction and the Nordic portfolio, Michael Bickford, founder and CEO of Round Hill Capital, said:
“We are pleased to have secured this very attractive debt refinancing, which saw strong appetite from institutional debt investors and offers Round Hill Capital funding diversification on highly competitive terms as well as substantial operational flexibility. We welcome this leading global insurance institution as a supportive partner to Round Hill and we look forward to continue working with them over the long term.
After only two years of ownership, we are very pleased to be ahead of our original expectations on the Portfolio, which provides both stable rental income and higher performing repositioning and development opportunities which are expected to add further value.
We continue to look to make further investments in logistics property in the Nordic region and across Europe in line with our existing growth strategy.”