Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Bank ABC and a syndicate of banks on a £250 million senior Islamic facility for the development of a London property known as Regent’s Crescent, in the largest Shariah-compliant financing in the UK for several years.
This transaction was a highly complex development financing of a historic Grade I-listed building and subsequent conversion into luxury apartments. The scheme has a gross value at over £500 million. The title to the property, the technical challenges relating to the planning, demolition and construction and the complexity of the debt and security structure made this transaction challenging to execute for all parties involved. In addition to the senior facility, Fortress extended a £70 million mezzanine Islamic facility, demonstrating the continued acceptability of Islamic financing as an alternative mode of financing.
Faisal Al Showaikh, acting head of wholesale banking, Europe and group head of real estate finance at Bank ABC, commented:
“The facility is a momentous transaction for the Bank, it being one of the most significant Shariah-compliant residential development facilities financed in London. Bank ABC has once again demonstrated its capability and expertise in closing large complex real estate facilities in a challenging market.”
Mohammed Paracha, head of Islamic finance - Middle East & Africa at Norton Rose Fulbright, commented:
“This is very much a high-prestige location; a grand crescent building behind the Grade I-listed façade needed to be sympathetically redeveloped. This financing from Bank ABC and the syndicate shows continued interest in London real estate from Islamic investors, despite the continued uncertainty resulting from Brexit negotiations, and also shows that big name investors are willing to structure their participation in an Islamic manner for the right deal.”
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by partner Mohammed Paracha with support from associates Martin Botik, Seya Rahnema and Hesa Alsaad. Property advice was provided by head of London real estate Wasim Khan and associates Alex Common and Emily Marriott. Construction advice was provided by partner Donald Warnock and associate Jack Mason. Planning advice was provided by UK head of planning Duncan Field and associate Victoria McKeegan. Tax advice was given by senior consultant Chris Bates and associate Harry Smith.
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