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30 December 2020

Charles Russell Speechlys advises Silbury Finance on a £47m facility to a joint venture between Octopus Real Estate, Schroders Real Estate and Audley

Charles Russell Speechlys advised Silbury Finance on a £47m facility to a Jersey unit trust (backed by a joint venture between Octopus Real Estate, Schroders Real Estate and Audley) to finance the development of a 74 unit retirement living village in Cobham, Surrey. The complex will be operated by Audley and will include leisure facilities and support services available on site for the community.

The transaction involved complex property buyback arrangements and reversionary leasehold structures relating to the operation of the site. The nature of the asset and the projected income stream (e.g. deferred management fees) also required detailed analysis to ensure that our client’s position was protected.

The loan is the first underwritten by Silbury Finance (backed by Oaktree Capital Management) in the Retirement Living sector and is a landmark transaction for them as they target £400m of lending this year, which includes substantial backing of the Retirement Living sector. We were delighted to assist Silbury Finance with this transaction as they continue to grow their loan book and build on their strong reputation.

Charles Russell Speechlys has considerable experience is the Retirement Living area and was well-placed to advice Silbury Finance on all elements of the transaction (including banking and financereal estateconstruction and planning issues). The UK retirement living space has grown in prominence in recent years and newly established development lender Silbury Finance is a market leader in offering debt solutions in this area (aided by the reluctance of more traditional lenders and debt funds to underwrite mid-size development loans for experienced developers). Recent and growing investment in the retirement sector is designed to help address the undersupply of high-quality retirement housing in the UK, where demand is being driven by a growing ageing population.

The team was led by Jon Bond, with Cara Fulker (Banking and Finance), Simon Ewing (Real Estate), Nicola Marriott (Real Estate), Andrew Keeley (Construction) and Lydia O’Hagan (Planning).