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Property Top Co-Financing

Through 2017 we have worked with clients and joint-venture partners on an array of development projects, and whilst most of these have involved us raising development finance & equity for clients, we have also had a number of inquiries for capitalizing fast-growing property development firms at the corporate, or Topco, level. This objective raises a number of questions, both for the development firm and for the investor side.

There is certainly a preference for the majority of funders to appraise and support developments on a case-by-case basis, as when money is ring-fenced and deployed it begins accruing returns (IRR) obligations from the outset. In the mid-size development space, it’s generally more efficient for money to be attached to a single, identified asset, for measurable anticipated results. Accordingly, a good deal of the money that supports those mid-space developments adheres to this funding philosophy.

When funds are being requested at the Topco level, for discretionary use across a broader portfolio of developments/projects, a funder must accept a less precise – and essentially more aggregated – investment dynamic, with generally a longer timeline and a more variable risk profile. Many funders in this mid-size development space opt for a case by case funding model as it allows them to manage their portfolio risk more directly.
Equally, from the perspective of the property firm, the question must be addressed with respect to why they really need or want Topco investment. Doing this will often result in giving away a solid stake in their business, and more poignantly – if the business doesn’t have the equity or asset base to support portfolio-level development, is it really the right time to ask someone else to take the equity risk? The answer may well be yes, and for experienced, niche operators we have seen solid interest from larger funding offices to support that growth – though not without addressing the above line of questioning.

To discuss financial structures to suit your development pipeline, call us on 07718 966556 or email