US-backed commercial property funder secures first Scottish deals

Edinburgh-headquartered Fairfield completes two major investments totalling £31 million 

One of the country’s newest commercial property finance providers, which has recently opened its first UK office in Edinburgh’s Melville Street, has completed its first Scottish deals – totalling £31 million – just seven months after launching in the real estate market.
Fairfield Real Estate Finance has completed debt refinance packages for two Scottish businesses with a combined property value of £31 million – the largest of which is a £21 million joint commercial property portfolio owned by David Cameron of Upland Developments and Bruce Linton of James Keiller Estates.
The portfolio includes the Clydesdale Bank headquarters in Glasgow, as well as a mixed range of three other sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.
Fairfield has also secured a debt package for a new £10 million hotel in Glasgow’s West Campbell Street on behalf of the Curo Property Fund LLP. The hotel is operated as a Hampton by Hilton and opened in May 2016.
The deals are the first Scottish investments for the US-backed company which is committing to an ambitious growth plan which includes increasing its Edinburgh-based staff and providing over £300 million of debt funding to new projects by the summer of 2017.
Colin Duncan, real estate director of Fairfield, said: “We are in the fortunate position of having the financial backing of Oaktree Capital Management. This gives us the ability to offer something different to the commercial real estate market at the moment.
“We are very comfortable that our first Scottish deals offer good long term prospects.  In the case of David Cameron and Bruce Linton, they are both highly experienced people responsible for a mixed portfolio with multiple tenants and a strong lettings history.
“The hotels market is interesting to us as we are very comfortable lending into hotels with operating agreements which are very much in keeping with financial models in the US.
“Our funding is an attractive option for low equity borrowers with active asset management opportunities that create value. Some mainstream borrowers are stagnated due to lack of acquisition, development or refurbishment capital as cashflow is swept to debt repayment. Our refinancing of existing loans allows additional debt for acquisitions and capital spend or even potential for some cash out to reflect past successes.
“We have a number of other deals in the pipeline and are looking forward to working with many more clients across the UK and Ireland in the months and years ahead.”
Fairfield was established in May 2016 and has already completed a number of commercial property deals in Ireland. However the business will be based out of Edinburgh and has recently moved into its Melville Street premises to accommodate four full-time executives.


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