On December 13th, Acofi embraced the recently passed changes to the French lending regime to extend the very first loan granted directly by a French fonds commun de titrisation. This marks the beginning of a new era for alternative lenders, a change which the firm had been preparing for some time and was quick to adopt. The deal finances the acquisition and renovation of an office property in Clichy, which sits perfectly well with the firm’s strategy of playing a significant role in the refurbishment of the office stock and the delivery of spaces for tomorrow.
For this landmark inaugural deal, Acofi partnered with Arkea Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels. Working as a tandem served as a useful benchmarking for Acofi’s procedures and methods for originating loans are aligned with the property lending industry standards. Acofi’s Real Estate Debt portfolio is now approaching € 900m.
The facility is made available to EQT Real Estate I for the € 42m acquisition and renovation of a property in Clichy, offering c. 10,000 sqm of office accommodation. After a swift capital expenditure program due to complete by 2020, the asset will boast HQE Renovation Excellent and BREEAM Very Good ratings. It is located only a few steps away from the upcoming extension of metro line 14.
Olivier Astruc, Managing Director at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Real Estate I, says: ‘This investment in Clichy, North Paris, further demonstrates our strategy to create modern offices suited to occupiers’ needs for affordable and accessible grade A office space. EQT Real Estate has now completed 4 transactions in Paris, building a portfolio exceeding 60,000 square meters and € 500m in gross development value.’
‘We were quick to embark on this exciting journey of direct lending, which is being made possible by two recent decrees. We had been preparing for this since early 2017, when we received AMF approval to originate loans. Since then, we have been shifting gradually to grow a proprietary pipeline of deals in a direct dialogue with borrowers. This will allow us to have a better handle on structuring to our required risk profile, to enhance returns and to make our portfolio management truly professional’ shared Christophe Murciani, Head of Real Estate Debt Funds at Acofi.
‘France can take pride in having pioneered new forms of direct lending. The commercial property market is particularly well suited to welcome the emergence of alternative lenders alongside mainstream, bank lenders. Our approach has received a warm welcome from the borrowers, and we can already claim that another loan will be granted before year-end’ added Thibault de Saint-Priest, CEO of Acofi.
Allen & Overy LLP and Etude Panhard & Associés advised Acofi.