The purchase is part of a site assembly plan by the private equity real estate manager, which is expected to create 156 new apartments in three new apartment blocks, with ground-floor commercial space.
In June 2020, Laurence Foux, director at Business Finance 1st Ltd, arranged finance with UTB on behalf of Apex to fund the acquisition of an industrial warehouse in the center of the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area, which the company believed had potential for redevelopment.
Apex then spent the next six months negotiating with the owners of two adjoining light industrial premises with a view to assembling a residential-led, mixed-use scheme.
The business had no planning in place, but wanted to finance the purchase of the two additional sites based on their commercial values.
Apex aims to add significant value by pursuing a planning application to create the homes and commercial space
The bank’s structured finance team assessed the three properties, which were fully let, and proposed a new £5.33m facility, which included refinancing the first property acquired by Apex last year.
Although there were additional challenges presented by the early 2021 pandemic lockdown, the proposal moved from credit approval to facility drawdown in approximately three weeks.
The loan was provided at 60% LTV, on a 24-month term.
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If planning is successful, Apex is likely to develop the scheme and refinance to a development facility in due course
“I’m very excited about this project and I’ve been delighted with UTB’s support to date,” said Paul Benardout, director at Apex.
“Rather than simply looking at the acquisitions as one-off transactions, UTB was interested in our business, ambitions for the future and how it could support our growth moving forward.
“This, coupled with its speed and efficiency in delivering what we needed, gave me confidence that we were building a long-term relationship with a reliable funding partner which understood Apex and what we wish to achieve.”
Gerard Morgan Jackson, head of structured finance at UTB, commented: “Paul and Jonathan [Kor, director at Apex] are highly experienced and successful property developers, and their track record speaks for itself.
“Laurence built a compelling proposal and, when we saw the plans for this project and Apex’s wider ambitions, we were very keen to support it.”
Laurence added: “Paul and Jonathan have once again shown great vision with this project, and it is a pleasure to assist them in moving it forward.
“You put your reputation on the line when recommending a new funding partner.
“However, UTB delivered everything they promised quickly and professionally.
“Although the nature of the assembly funding was relatively straightforward, there were elements of the deal which required a level of knowledge, skills and appetite few lenders possess.
“I look forward to continuing to work with UTB as we bring this significant project to fruition.”