LONDON Oct 7 U.S. private equity group Starwood
Capital has provided a 288 million pound ($463 million)
refinancing facility to London's Heron Tower, saving the
46-storey skyscraper from the threat of receivership and a
Bank lenders to the tower, which has struggled to fill up
its floors amid London's weak office lettings market, had been
frustrated by its owners inability to agree on a refinancing of
a 315 million pound loan despite several months of negotiations.
Starwood European Real Estate Finance, a listed
Starwood Capital business, said on Monday it had provided an 18
million pound participation in the 5-year facility, with
Starwood Property Trust providing the remainder.
The Heron Tower is owned by a trust that includes developer
Heron International, helmed by property entrepreneur Gerald
Ronson, Oman's largest sovereign wealth fund and Saudi
A source familiar with the situation said the shareholders
had agreed to inject 100 million pounds on top of the Starwood
refinancing, which meant that the tower did not need to be sold
to repay its debts to banks which included Wells Fargo
and Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen.
A deal had been needed because the Heron Tower, close to
Liverpool Street railway station in the City financial district,
has not let as quickly as planned with 41 percent of office
space still unoccupied since it opned in 2011.