Westbrooke completes financing transaction with Hillview group

24 November 2020

Westbrooke is pleased to announce the completion of an innovative secured financing transaction to independent alternative asset manager, the Hillview Group. This deal was in relation to Hillview Garden Centres, a garden centres business which Hillview sold at the end of last year.

In December 2019, Hillview sold Hillview Garden Centres (including its operational platform and portfolio of eight sites) to UK operator British Garden Centres, thereby allowing British Garden Centres to further enhance its strategy to become the second largest garden centre group in the UK. The transaction consideration included a vendor financing element, structured through a £12.5 million secured loan note extended by Hillview Garden Centres to British Garden Centres.

In order to monetise a portion of the vendor loan, Hillview has secured a £6 million debt facility from Westbrooke, secured against the loan note and first charge security to the underlying garden centre portfolio. Hillview will use the proceeds for corporate funding purposes.

Nadav Livni, managing director of Hillview Group, said:

“We received a number of compelling term sheets for this financing facility and ultimately selected Westbrooke, as we were impressed by its bespoke underwriting approach and commitment to supporting our overall transaction objectives. We believe that Westbrooke will be an excellent long-term partner for Hillview and foresee future investment opportunities between ourselves and Westbrooke.”

“Despite the challenges of Covid-19, this transaction reflects Hillview’s ability to develop a structured financing exit from its real estate portfolios. It demonstrates how a well-structured financing facility, backed with well-located real estate and a strong covenant is resilient to market cycles and dislocations”.

Richard Asherson, managing director of Westbrooke UK, added:

“We are delighted to have provided this facility to Hillview. At Westbrooke, we take pride in delivering entrepreneurial financing solutions for our clients. This complex loan structure, secured by a diverse portfolio of established operating real estate assets and underpinned through a strong covenant, fits right into our sweet spot. We look forward to unlocking many opportunities with Hillview in years to come”.

Westbrooke and Hillview were advised by Gateley PLC and Freeths LLP for this transaction.

Hillview Group:
Established in 2006, Hillview Group is a trusted adviser and an alternative asset management platform focused on asset-backed sectors. It provides a range of specialist investment and advisory services to a global client base of institutions, family offices and high net worth individuals. From its offices in London and New York, Hillview Group has managed more than $10 billion of innovative investment transactions. Its three subsidiary businesses are Hillview Real Estate, which invests in commercial and industrial real estate in the UK, Hillview Capital and Hillview Advisory. For further information, go to https://www.hillview-group.com/.

Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management:
Founded in 2004 and with offices in Johannesburg and London, Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management (“WAAM”) invests and manages capital in multiple geographies on behalf of its shareholders and investors in Private Equity, Private Debt, Hybrid Capital, Venture Capital and Real Estate. WAAM manage significant shareholder and investor capital invested predominantly in SA, the UK and USA. WAAM was established as a multi-asset, multi-strategy manager of alternative investment funds and products structured to preserve and compound clients’ wealth to cement their future prosperity.

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