Omni Capital completes £127.5m ‘super bridge’


Omni Capital, the specialist short-term lender owned by Christian Candy’s CPC Group, has completed a record £127.5 million ‘super-bridge’ for a prime residential development project in central London.

The multi-million pound bridging loan was for the acquisition of 1 Palace Street, a Grade II listed 19th century former hotel building on Buckingham Gate by Palace Revive Limited, a special purpose vehicle established to acquire the property. Palace Revive Limited exchanged contracts in September 2013 and has now completed on the purchase of the property – a 245,000 sq ft site which will be redeveloped into 78 luxury private apartments with a restaurant, health centre and unrivalled views over Buckingham Palace Gardens. Palace Revive Limited has appointed London developer Northacre PLC as the development manager for the 1 Palace Street project.

Omni Capital provided credit approval within 48 hours and ahead of exchange and the 12 month term loan is thought to be one of the largest ever bridging loans underwritten by a specialist UK lender. The new scheme, which has received planning permission, will involve the part refurbishment and part demolition of the existing listed building and apartment sizes will range from 800 sq ft to over 5,000 sq ft.

“This marks the first of many transactions as Omni Capital starts 2014 and moves into larger ticket deals,” said Colin Sanders, CEO of Omni Capital. “Extensive knowledge and expertise in all aspects of property and development, especially on deals of this size, combined with Omni’s financial structuring capabilities, enables fast and substantial in-house development funding for experienced investors and development professionals.”

The deal also marks Omni Capital’s expansion into development funding for highly experienced developer professionals at high leverage points in central London.

In addition to the £127.5 million loan, Omni Capital has lent over £250 million over the past 18 months, cementing its position as one of the UK’s leading specialist providers of flexible short and medium term finance. The ongoing liquidity gap continues to present credit problems for developers and individuals alike and with a high demand for short-term products, Omni Capital is well positioned to fill the gap by lending where the banks will not.

The company also expanded its financial services brand into the retail sector last year following the acquisition of a leading provider of point-of-sale customer credit facilities to independent and niche retailers. Omni Capital Retail Finance is helping to level the playing field for struggling high street retailers, enabling them to offer credit solutions to their customers in order to increase sales values and compete with the larger and online retailers.

Omni Capital will shortly announce a number of new staff appointments and details of an impending office move.