Scentre Group, the owner and operator of Westfield-branded living centres in Australia and New Zealand, has closed a new $900 million syndicated bank loan facility.
The facility, launched as a $500 million transaction and targeted towards Asian banks, received strong support from banks who were keen to gain exposure to Australia’s largest retail REIT. As a result, the facility was upsized to $900 million, comprising a $590 million 5 ½ year revolving tranche, a $92.5 million 5 ½ year fixed term tranche and a $217.5 million 7-year fixed term tranche.
Scentre Group’s Treasurer, Richard Williams, said: “The level of demand to participate in the new facility reflected the high quality and resilient market position of the Scentre Group portfolio. Prior to launching this transaction, we had received regular enquiry from banks in the region that were interested in banking us. We are very pleased to be able to establish new relationships with banks in the Asian region and diversify our lending group.”
The strong demand among lenders to gain exposure to the Scentre Group credit and the rarity of Scentre Group in the syndicated loan market allowed the facility to be finely priced at a fully drawn margin of 1.05% for the 5 ½ year tranches and 1.30% for the 7-year tranche.
The new syndicated loan, which was used to refinance a number of Scentre Group’s existing loan facilities and for general corporate purposes, comes on top of the extension and re-pricing of $2.35 billion of bilateral bank loan facilities.
Mr Williams said: “The new syndicated loan, in combination with the refinancing of a number of our existing bilateral loans, has eliminated all of our 2019 bank debt maturities and reduced our 2020 bank debt maturities from $1 billion to $150 million.”