Lloyds Bank extends a £185m debt facility for retail development scheme at The O2

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has extended a £185m debt facility partly to finance the development a new designer outlet retail scheme at The O2 in London for joint venture partners Crosstree Real Estate Partners and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).

Crosstree and AEG plan to develop a new 204,000 sq ft designer outlet targeting premium and high street retailers, complementary to the existing 370,000 sq ft leisure and retail offering.

Lloyds Bank’s package is split between a development facility for the designer outlet and a refinancing of the existing retail and leisure component.

The bank intends to syndicate a proportion of the £185m whole loan through its debt capital markets distribution platform whilst also retaining a large interest.

The development will be the most significant at The O2 since the former Millennium Dome was converted into the world’s most successful concert venue in 2007.

The existing property is fully let and benefits from strong cash flow with a c.18 year weighted average lease length underpinned by 24 national restaurant brands and an 11 screen cinema.

The JV’s intention is to appoint a contractor in the first quarter of 2016 with the scheme expected to complete in late 2017.

Sarah McGuigan, Chief Legal & Development Officer of AEG Europe said “We have worked closely with the team at Lloyds Bank over many months to structure this complex transaction. Now that it is in place, we can begin work on the next chapter of this world famous landmark’s history.

“AEG and its partners transformed the building into what it is today and this exciting retail development will complete the existing vision, providing a huge boost to the Greenwich Peninsula and South East London.”

Peter Robinson, Principal from Crosstree, said: “Following our recent acquisition of a 50% interest in The O2, an iconic London landmark and globally preeminent leisure and retail destination, we are pleased to formalise a new relationship with Lloyds Bank who share our vision for the continued transformation of this asset.”

John Feeney, Global Head of Commercial Real Estate at Lloyds Bank, added: “This is the latest in a long-line of large-scale development projects that we have recently backed in the UK as well as being one of the biggest loans that we have fully underwritten.

“The deal is testament to the combined strengths of our balance sheet and distribution platform in being able to underwrite landmark transactions and to help turn developments that create hundreds of new jobs into reality.”

Eastdil Secured advised Crosstree and AEG on the financing.