Protego refinances Nordic investments

The London-based company has been able to refinance assets acquired in Sweden and Finland using local banks. European investment director David Turner says Nordic banks are in a stronger position than many other European based banks.

Protego Real Estate Investors has managed to refinance €266 million ($379 million) of loans taken out to acquire Swedish assets for its Nordic Retail Fund.

In a statement, the London-based firm said Swedish bank SEB had provided the senior five-year facility. It also said €60 million of senior debt had been secured against the fund’s two Finnish regional shopping centres. The five year loan has been jointly provided by SEB Finland and DnB Nord.

Protego director for European investment David Turner said in a statement: “The refinance of the Nordic Retail Fund’s Swedish and Finnish portfolios indicates that the Nordic banks are in a stronger position than many other European based banks to offer competitive property finance at the present time. To a large extent, this is a reflection of the strength of the Nordic Region’s economy, and the positive outlook compared to other parts of Europe.”

In the October issue of PERE magazine, Turner acknowledges the retail fund may not be acquiring assets any time soon. One of the problems is that owners of real estate in Sweden are not under much pressure to sell. 

Protego launched the Nordic Retail fund targeting institutional investors in July 2007.  The portfolio comprises 47 assets located in Sweden and Finland with a market value of €585 million.