Al Salam exits key London property
Manama, February 12, 2013
Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (ASBB), a leading Islamic bank in the Kingdom, has successfully exited a circa £38 million Shari’a compliant mezzanine facility extended to the refinancing of 5 Canada Square, a landmark commercial property located in the heart of Canary Wharf, the financial district of London.
The transaction marks ASBB’s second successful investment and exit in London with the previous being Milton Gate in 2010, said the Bahrain bank in a statement.
ASBB had entered the Canada Square transaction in August 2010 and exited on January 31, 2013. It is a Grade A freehold commercial tower in Canary Wharf, London leased to Credit Suisse for a further unexpired term of 14 years maturing in 2027.
The building, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merill and completed in October 2002, comprises a high quality Grade A office building extending to 536,338 sq ft. The property lies to the north of Canary Wharf, adjacent and to the northeast of One Canada Square the focal point on Canary Wharf.
The twin towers of HSBC Bank and Citibank are situated in close proximity to the property.
Yousif A. Taqi, the CEO and director of ASBB said, "Given the current weak economic conditions in Europe, this exits marks a significant achievement for ASBB and its investors. Completion of the exit has generated attractive returns enabling our clients to benefit from a high yielding product while minimizing downside risk.”
“UK commercial real estate market has improved but plateaued since our entry in 2010 and our strategy to exit comes at a time when the bank has alternative opportunities with attractive risk-return profiles both in the UK and other target markets. In these market conditions, investment protection is a key factor in our investment strategy,” he added.
Michael Evans, the chairman of Evans Randall, the sponsor and arranger of the transaction, said "We are delighted to have worked once again with Al Salam Bank-Bahrain on the 5 Canada Square transaction. The investment outlook in London remains strong for the right opportunity, and the ability to deploy funds together leaves Evans Randall and Al Salam Bank well placed to capitalise on such opportunities."
"The successful entry and exit of this transaction demonstrates ASBB’s ability to provide its valued clients with differentiated investment opportunities with attractive terms that are structured to take advantage of current market conditions," he stated.
Herbert Smith and Ogiers were the key advisors for ASBB on the transaction.-TradeArabia News Service