Barclays finances Tritax’s WM Morrison supermarket buy £53.8m senior loan

Tritax Big Box REIT, the specialist UK logistics real estate investment trust, has confirmed the purchase of WM Morrison Supermarkets’ South East Regional Distribution Centre in Sittingbourne for £97.8m, financed by a £53.8m senior loan from Barclays Bank.

Barclays logo (new)Tritax’ £97.8m purchase price is net of fees and reflects a net initial yield of 5.2%. The distribution centre is being acquired from Wm Morrison Supermarkets subject to a new leaseback agreement for 25 years and with annual rent reviews indexed to RPI (subject to a 2% cap).

Barclays’ five-year £53.8m senior loan, with a two-year extension option, reflects a 55% LTV which is expected to be drawdown on completion next Tuesday, 24 June.

Matt Weaver, relationship director, at Barclays Real Estate team, said in a press statement: “This marks Barclays’ fifth financing facility for Tritax Big Box REIT, and takes our total financing support to date to £155m.

“We have worked closely with the REIT to help deliver its strategy, by structuring varying debt maturities and flexible gearing structures. This strong relationship, coupled with good quality assets and investment grade tenants, enabled us to act swiftly against tight deadlines to support the investment goals of the REIT.”

Following drawdown of the loan, the Company’s aggregate borrowings will be 45% of gross assets. The blended margin payable across the Company’s financings to date is approximately 175 bps above three-month LIBOR.

The distribution facility was developed in 2009 and comprises 919,443 sq ft of ground floor area with low site cover of approximately 42%.

It incorporates modern design features, including two large purpose built units which are used for ‘ambient goods’ and ‘chilled food’ respectively.

TRW Real Estate and Dowley Turner Real Estate represented the Company. Cushman & Wakefield represented the vendor.

Colin Godfrey, partner of Tritax, said: “The Morrisons distribution centre at Sittingbourne is extremely well located with excellent transport links, facilitating the large-scale delivery of merchandise across the UK and Europe.

“It was chosen by Morrisons to be its strategic South East regional distribution centre for both chilled and ambient general merchandise, and now serves 53 ‘M Locals’ and 85 of their main supermarket stores ranging from the Isle of Man to Ipswich. Tritax Big Box REIT plc is delighted to have made this acquisition and to be working with Morrisons, one of the UK’s leading supermarket brands.”


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