London, 07 January 2014
Macquarie Real Estate Lending, part of Macquarie’s Corporate and Asset Finance Group, has provided a £41 million facility to Lycamobile, a privately held international mobile virtual network operator, for the acquisition of a 3.5 acre freehold property in London’s Docklands area from Columbus Capital Management.
The senior financing solution has a 5-year term and a loan-to-cost of approximately 50 per cent. Macquarie Lending is the sole senior lender on the transaction.
The property consists of four fully-let office buildings with a total lettable area of approximately 237,000 square feet. Lycamobile aims to maximise the value of the site by exploring various options including a potential conversion of the site from office to residential use.
Peter Vega, Managing Director of Macquarie’s European Real Estate Lending business, said: “We are very pleased to have financed this acquisition of an attractive office site to the south of Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands area. The transaction demonstrates Macquarie’s ability to execute bespoke and complex deals whilst working closely with our clients to allow them to achieve their investment objectives.”
Subaskaran Allirajah, Lycamobile Chairman said: “For many years Thames Quay has been a fantastic site from which to nurture Lycamobile’s success; a foundation on which to build our international expansion. The Lycamobile brand itself is founded in a pledge to connect and fortify relationships between communities from all over the world; it’s clear to see why London – the cultural hub of the world – is our natural home.”
Lycamobile is a privately-held mobile virtual network operator headquartered at Thames Quay in the UK with over 30 million customers acquired across 17 countries in Europe, Australia, Asia and the USA.
The acquisition follows a successful three years for Macquarie Real Estate Lending, having closed a total of 16 transactions since entering the European real estate lending market in 2010. With a broad investment mandate, Macquarie Real Estate Lending provides bespoke finance solutions to companies operating across the full real estate spectrum including residential, retail, light industrial, data centres, office and hotels.
Lycamobile is a prepaid mobile SIM card provider that provides low-cost, high-quality international and national calls and has acquired over 30 million customers across 17 countries (UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and the USA). Lycamobile is available through an extensive network of more than one million retail outlets. The brand was initially introduced in 2006 and is already Europe’s largest pre-pay MVNO. Lycamobile continues to grow rapidly with further market launches planned throughout 2014.