Barings shows faith in UK regional offices with £200m loan – Exclusive

The refinancing of Milton Park, a science and business park in Oxfordshire, represents the private lender’s largest single facility in Europe to date.

Barings Real Estate has refinanced Milton Park, a science and business park in Oxfordshire, with a £200 million (€224 million) facility, its single largest loan provided in Europe to date.

The park, jointly owned by £33.6 billion fund manager Hermes Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, has been refinanced with a seven-year loan at a 38 percent loan-to-value ratio, Real Estate Capital understands. Debt advisor Eastdil Secured represented Hermes and CPPIB in the deal.

Located in the Thames Valley region of the UK, Milton Park, one of Europe’s largest integrated business, science and technology parks, is home to more than 250 organisations employing more than 9,000 people. The site, which accommodates global and emerging businesses, including several spin-out organisations from the nearby University of Oxford, is managed and developed by MEPC.

“This loan is a key transaction for our new Milton Park partnership with CPPIB and is a testament to the strength of Milton Park, MEPC as asset manager, and the partner sponsors,” said Chris Taylor, head of private markets at Hermes.

“The new Barings senior loan will enable MEPC to continue to efficiently manage and grow Milton Park on behalf of the partnership and the partners,” he added.

CPPIB acquired a 50 percent stake in Milton Park from Hermes last summer. The joint venture had previously partnered for other deals in London and the UK regional market, including office schemes such as Wellington Place in Leeds and Paradise in Birmingham.

At Milton Park, MEPC has recently overseen the development of Park Drive East, one of the largest speculative developments in Oxfordshire. Consisting of three buildings offering state-of-the-art laboratory and Grade A office space, the first building was pre-let to Oxford Immunotec Global to expand its global headquarters at the site.

“With the new loan in place and the ongoing support of Hermes Investment Management and CPPIB, we have a really solid platform to continue to invest in Milton Park,” said James Dipple, CEO of MEPC.

“This will include further development to meet the growing demand for high-quality science and business space in the region, which will be fast-tracked through planning by our Local Development Order – enabling us to grow Milton Park by over a million square feet in the next 10 years and deliver new buildings quickly to meet occupiers’ needs,” he added.