Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Uni-Invest NV, a privately held Dutch property manager, failed to repay a 602 million-euro ($791 million) commercial real estate loan which fell due today, according to a regulatory filing.
The loan, backed by 201 office buildings in the Netherlands, is collateral for bonds issued by Opera Finance (Uni-Invest) NV, according to a company filing. The transaction may be declared in default if Opera doesn’t get repaid within the next three days.
“The issuer did not receive payment of principal amount outstanding of the senior loan and as a result did not have sufficient funds to repay all the principal amount outstanding,” according to the filing.
The transaction was issued in 2005 and included a 358.7 million-euro portion that initially got a top grade from Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. A group of investors representing 90 percent of outstanding senior notes are exploring options for the transaction, Eurohypo AG, the administrator of the deal, said in a Feb. 8 statement, without providing details.
“Uni-Invest regards the scenarios currently being explored by the bondholders as positive,” Pieter Roozenboom, chief executive officer at Uni-Invest, said in an e-mailed statement. “We get the time and space to continue our strategy of portfolio optimization and transformation.”
Uni-Invest’s shares were delisted in January 2003 after a group led by Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners and the Merwede Group agreed to buy the company for 884 million euros.
Almost a quarter of all European commercial real estate loans tracked by Fitch were in default at the end of December, compared with 16.3 percent in September, the ratings firm said Feb. 13.
‘It’s the first time senior bondholders in a European CMBS deal have been hit by a non-payment on the maturity day,” said Christian Aufsatz, a London-based securitization analyst at Barclays Capital. “We could see deals facing similar situations in the coming years.”
--Editors: Michael Shanahan, Paul Armstrong
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