Mishcon de Reya has advised Cohort Capital on its provision of an acquisition facility of £22 million at 60% LTV for the purchase of 50 Brook Green, W6 7BJ, a 40,000 sq ft office asset, formerly a school which now has planning for 33 high-end residential apartments.
The loan was made to a US Fund, who will deliver the conversion with a development facility once Cohort has been exited. The timeframe for closing the deal was extremely tight, and the borrower was at risk of missing the completion deadline set by the vendor after another alternative lender had failed to perform at the last stage.
The purchaser had exchanged contracts to acquire the shares in the entity that owned the property and had placed a deposit of £12 million on exchange. Had the deadline been missed, the vendor could have rescinded the contract, forfeited the deposit and sold either the shares in the company or the property to another party. Cohort Capital were able to step in quickly and provide certainty for the borrower by moving quickly at a lower LTV.
Bal Sohal, Chairman of Cohort Capital, said: “There is growing demand for stable, sensible, and quick funding – we believe certainty is good business in the current climate. We never set out 4 years ago to be the cheapest and highest on LTV; just to be reliable and straightforward. In addition to the reliability factor, we are typically closing deals two weeks from first enquiry – compared to banks which are taking at least 3 months to close debt transactions. We have a strong pipeline of comparable deals and are constantly looking for more suitable loan opportunities.”
Matt Thame, Founder of Cohort Capital, said: “This is another great example of where Cohort’s reliable funding and underwriting base has directly benefited the borrower market. The deal received significant attention in the short-term lending space after another funder had failed to perform at the last stage. We were able to provide certainty for the borrower by moving quickly at a lower LTV. If market turbulence continues, it’s likely we will continue to see less experienced lenders pulling out of deals, putting transactions at risk. We were supported on the transaction by Mishcon de Reya, led by banking partner Sarah Spurling and real estate partner Kirpal Kaur who provided efficient and effective legal advice to ensure we got the loan over the line, which is key in transactions of this nature."
Kirpal Kaur, Real Estate Partner at Mishcon de Reya, commented: "We were very pleased to represent Cohort Capital on this transaction. We understand the importance of meeting tight timeframes involved in transactions of this nature which of course needs to be balanced with ensuring sufficient security for the lender."