Life Science REIT refinances GBP36 million in debt at better rate

March 4, 2023

(Alliance News) - Life Science REIT PLC on Friday said it has refinanced its existing GBP35.9 million asset-level development debt facility, which was acquired with the company's Oxford Technology Park asset.

The UK life science properties-focused real estate investment trust said the facility carried a high interest rate and an expiry date of June 2023. It has refinanced this by drawing down GBP26.3 million from its GBP150 million in facilities from lender HSBC, alongside utilising existing cash resources.

It noted the HSBC facilities include a GBP75 million fully drawn term loan capped at a maximum cost of 4.25% per annum, as well as a GBP75 million revolving credit facility with a cost of sterling overnight interbank average rate plus 2.25%.

Following the refinancing, Life Science REIT said GBP48.7 million remains available in its revolving credit facility for future use, while the company's look-forward and blended interest cost is expected to reduce by around 100 basis points.

The additional drawdown is secured against Life Science REIT's acquisitions at Herband Street, London, Lumen House, near Oxford, and the Merrifield Centre in Cambridge.

"We have taken the opportunity to repay the outstanding Oxford Technology Park debt earlier than the termination date in June 2023 prudently using the company's existing HSBC facility to minimise interest and debt facility management costs following the lapse of significant early redemption penalties. Additionally, this will provide the potential for further refinancing of Oxford Technology Park in the near future," said Simon Farnsworth, Ironstone Asset Management Ltd managing director and Life Science REIT's investment adviser.

On Monday, Life Science REIT agreed a letting of part of the ground floor of Building One at Oxford Technology Park to Arcturis Data Ltd.

It said the 10-year lease was completed on 5,509 square feet of office space at a rent of GBP28.66 per square foot.

The deal includes a break clause and rent review at the end of the fifth year.

With this letting, Life Science REIT said overall occupancy at Oxford Technology Park increased 7.4% to 86.3%, while hoping to complete a further 262,000 square foot of space for letting in buildings six to 11 during the next 18 months.

Life Science REIT shares were up 0.8% at 68.95 pence on Friday afternoon in London.

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News reporter

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