24 June 2020
AEW UK REIT PLC
Debt Facility Amendment
AEW UK REIT plc (LSE: AEWU) (the "Company") is pleased to announce an amendment to its loan facility which permits the Company to make loan repayments and to re-draw amounts under the facility, akin to a revolving credit facility. The Company has the flexibility to repay any amount, at any time and without transaction fees, although a commitment fee will be charged on any repaid loan amounts. The facility's key terms, including the Loan to NAV covenant, remain unchanged.
The Company currently has a gross loan to value of 29.5% following the sale of its Corby asset which reduced the total portfolio valuation, and a net loan to value of 13.9%, reflecting the increased cash balance following the sale. The Company's long-term gross loan to value target is 25% and the Company intends to immediately apply £5 million of its available cash to the repayment of debt utilising the new flexible permissions which will reduce its gross loan to value to 26.7%.
The Board, in conjunction with the Manager, will maintain a cautious approach in respect of the Company's cash balance in the current environment. The Investment Manager continues to monitor opportunities for investment and believes that market conditions may facilitate an increased number of attractive pipeline opportunities of which the Company will be well placed to take advantage.
Commenting on the agreement, Alex Short, Portfolio Manager of AEW UK REIT said, "We are very pleased to have negotiated such an attractive amendment to our debt facility which gives us incredible flexibility at a time of unprecedented market conditions. Although the Company's overall borrowing levels are very conservative and banking covenants having significant headroom as at their most recent test date, the Board, following advice from AEW's in-house debt specialists, has taken further steps to de-risk the Company's exposure to borrowing. This latest amendment is in addition to other recently announced changes which include an agreement from the lender to waive the Company's ICR tests until 2021, the purchase of a 1% interest rate cap and the increase of loan to value hard covenants, which all add to the Company's strong positioning at a difficult time in the global markets. The Company would like to thank RBS International for their ongoing support."
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Notes to Editors
About AEW UK REIT
AEW UK REIT plc (LSE: AEWU) aims to deliver an attractive total return to shareholders by investing predominantly in smaller commercial properties (typically less than £15 million), on shorter occupational leases in strong commercial locations across the United Kingdom. The Company was listed on the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and admitted to trading on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange on 12 May 2015, raising £100.5m. Since IPO it has raised a further £58m.
The Company is currently invested in office, retail, industrial and leisure assets, with a focus on active asset management, repositioning the properties and improving the quality of the income stream.
AEWU is currently paying an annualised dividend of 8p per share.
About AEW UK Investment Management LLP
AEW UK Investment Management LLP employs a well-resourced team comprising 26 individuals covering investment, asset management, operations and strategy. It is part of AEW Group, one of the world's largest real estate managers, with EUR69.5bn of assets under management as at 31 December 2019. AEW Group comprises AEW SA and AEW Capital Management L.P., a U.S. registered investment manager and their respective subsidiaries. In Europe, as at 31 December 2019, AEW Group managed EUR33bn of real estate assets on behalf of a number of funds and separate accounts with over 400 staff located in 9 offices. The Investment Manager is a 50:50 joint venture between the principals of the Investment Manager and AEW. In May 2019, AEW UK Investment Management LLP was awarded Property Manager of the Year at the Pensions and Investment Provider Awards.