Charles Russell Speechlys advises Silbury Finance on a £54.9m facility to a Jersey unit trust

Charles Russell Speechlys advised Silbury Finance on a £55m facility to a Jersey unit trust (backed by a joint venture between Octopus Real Estate, Schroder’s and Elysian Capital) to finance the development of a 103 unit retirement living village in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. The complex will include leisure facilities and has 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.

This is the second retirement living deal that Charles Russell Speechlys has completed for Silbury Finance and is a landmark transaction for them as they target £500m 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.

Founding Partner of Silbury Finance Gavin Eustace said: “We enjoyed working with Jon and the wider Charles Russell Speechlys team on this transaction. This is our second Retirement Living Development Finance transaction and on each occasion have been impressed by the team’s deep sector knowledge coupled with pragmatic and timely advice. This is another landmark transaction for us and are delighted that this means that since Autumn 2020 we have made over £Xm of funding available across a number of sectors including [                     ].”

Speaking of the deal, Jon Bond commented, “We are delighted to have worked with Gavin and the Silbury team again on this transaction, which made use of our Retirement Living sector expertise drawn from our banking, real estate, planning, construction and corporate teams. We look forward to continuing to support them on their emergence as a major force in the Real Estate Finance space”

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 finance, real estate, construction 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), Chris Carlisle (Real Estate), Andrew Keeley (Construction) and Sarah Wigington (Corporate). 

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