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On 23rd September 2013 we reported on the potential need for the building known as Heron Tower, near Liverpool Street station, to be put into administration, in part because of its relatively low take-up of floor space since its construction. However, it would appear that the building’s future may be somewhat more secure than in recent weeks.
To keep receivership at bay, Starwood Capital, the US private equity group, has contributed to the refinancing of the building, in a deal worth £288m.
Fewer than expected tenants had been signed up to the building, meaning that since completion and opening in 2011, only 59% of the space has been let. Discussions had been ongoing between the companies who make up the trust that owns the building, and the bank that lent the £315m funds to finance it. The inability to come to an arrangement had resulted in the possibility of the building going into receivership. The owners include Heron International, Saudi investors and Oman’s largest sovereign wealth fund, all of whom would have hoped to have seen a greater interest from tenants and return on investment.
The companies within the Starwood group that have put forward the financing offer are Starwood European Real Estate Finance and Starwood Property Trust.
Yassir Salim, Director at Scopesky Real Estate Ltd on Harley Street, London, comments: “It’s not hard to see how a building and investment even of this size could have got into this position. Tenants have not been as easy to come by for the large newbuild office towers, and a lack of leased space means that the original figures for the investors will far from add up.”
It has also been indicated that shareholders may make up the difference of £100m needed to prevent the building from going into administration.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.