Monument Real Estate secures debt finance from M7 Capital for Newcastle purchase

Monument Real Estate (“Monument”), a regional real estate investor and asset manager, has secured debt of over £5 million from M7 Capital (“M7C”), a full-service real estate debt specialist, for its purchase of 1- 2 Cathedral Square, a mixed-use building in the heart of Newcastle. Monument acted on behalf of a major private equity fund and consortium of North East investors to acquire the building.

The debt facility provided by M7C will fund the stabilisation of Cathedral Square and the asset management initiatives that Monument has planned for the 99,000 sq ft building, which comprises office and leisure space. Built in the 1970s on the site of the city’s old town hall, the property’s main tenants include the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Revolucion de Cuba and the Co-op Bank.

Monument focuses on value-add opportunities in UK regional real estate to act as the asset manager and operating partner alongside private equity investors and family offices. The company also uses its strong network of lending partners to provide debt and structured finance for transactions.

M7 Capital has been the internal adviser to M7 Real Estate (“M7”) for all its debt capital market needs since M7 was established in 2009. In 2016, M7C expanded its operations to incorporate a real estate lending and loan servicing platform. M7C’s first UK debt fund, TREC II, has now deployed more than £125 million across 15 different loans.

Tom Wooldridge, Executive Director and founder of Monument Real Estate, who led the Cathedral Square transaction, said: “We are delighted to have concluded the purchase of Cathedral Square and excited that we can finally get to work on delivering the business plan. The building occupies a central location in Newcastle amidst the ongoing regeneration of adjacent properties and public realm. It is a prime example of how Monument operates, using its local expertise and experience in regional real estate to capitalise on value-add opportunities for our stakeholders.

“M7C have been very supportive throughout and we have been impressed with their practical approach throughout the transaction. Our local knowledge and understanding of the city and this building meant that we recognised the strong opportunity provided by Cathedral Square, a proposition that was shared by M7C and our fellow investors.”

Hugh Fraser, CEO of M7C said, “This loan is exactly the type of facility we are aiming to provide. Backing strong investors like Monument on regional multi-let income producing assets is our core business. We have another £40 million closing in the coming weeks and are seeking to deploy a total of £400 million by the end of Q3 2021, targeting loans of circa £5 million + secured on regional income-producing real estate.

“We are pleased to have worked with Tom and the team at Monument on the acquisition of Cathedral Square. We look forward to supporting them as they carry out their business plan for the asset.”

Monument were represented by Freedman & Hilmi and Muckle whilst M7 Capital were represented by FieldFisher.