United Trust Bank provides £5.3m funding to Apex Capital Partners for South London site assembly plan

United Trust Bank (UTB) has financed the acquisition of two light industrial premises as part of a site assembly plan by Apex Capital Partners which could lead to the creation of 156 new apartments in a sought after area of South London.

Apex Capital Partners (Apex) is a private equity real estate manager founded in 2019 by experienced developers Paul Benardout and Jonathan Kor. The company focuses on the acquisition, development, asset management and operation of opportunity assets throughout Greater London, using its experience and repositioning strategies to produce higher capital values.

Laurence Foux of Business Finance 1st Ltd, approached UTB on behalf of Apex Capital Partners (Apex) in June 2020 to fund the purchase of an industrial warehouse in the centre of the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area which Apex believed had potential for redevelopment. With UTB funding that acquisition, Apex spent the next six months negotiating with the owners of two adjoining light industrial premises with a view to assembling a residential led, mixed use scheme.

With no planning in place, Apex wished to finance the purchase of the two additional sites based on their commercial values and subsequently add significant value by pursuing an ambitious planning application to create 156 new homes in three new apartment blocks with ground floor commercial space.

UTB’s Structured Finance team joined the project and quickly assessed the three properties, which were fully let, and proposed a new £5.33m facility which included refinancing the first property acquired by Apex in June 2020. UTB progressed the proposal quickly and although there were additional challenges presented by the early 2021 pandemic lockdown, the proposal moved from credit approval to facility drawdown in little more than three weeks.

Paul Benardout, Director of Apex Capital Partners, commented: “I’m very excited about this project and I’ve been delighted with UTB’s support to date. Their approach was refreshing. Rather than simply looking at the acquisitions as one off transactions, they were interested in our business, our ambitions for the future and how they could support our growth moving forward. This, coupled with their speed and efficiency in delivering what we needed, gave me confidence that we were building a long term relationship with a reliable funding partner which understood Apex and what we wish to acheive. I hope this will be the first of many successful collaborations with UTB.”

Laurence Foux, Director of Business Finance 1st Ltd, commented: “Paul and Jonathan have once again shown great vision with this project and it is a pleasure to assist them in moving it forward. You put your reputatation on the line when recommending a new funding partner. However, UTB delivered everything they promised quickly and professionally. Although the nature of the assembly funding was relatively straightforward, there were elements of the deal which required a level of knowledge, skills and appetite few lenders possess. I look forward to continuing to work with UTB as we bring this significant project to fruition.”

Gerard Morgan Jackson, Head of Structured Finance – United Trust Bank, commented: “Paul and Jonathan are highly experienced and successful property developers and their track record speaks for itself. Laurence Foux built a compelling proposal and when we saw the plans for this project and Apex’s wider ambitions we were very keen to support them.  At UTB we quickly assess our customers’ immediate needs and deliver a solution, and that’s what we did. However, our aim is to build strong, long term relationships with our customers beyond the deal on the table and I’m looking forward to us all working together on many more interesting developments.”