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Lee Robinson: Bridging and Development Finance Specialist

Lee Robinson: Bridging and Development Finance Specialist

Lee has been amazing throughout a complicated and long portfolio purchase. He stepped up to resolve issues caused by other brokers and lenders changing their terms. He went above and beyond anything asked or expected of him. In all honesty, without him, this deal would not have completed, and I would have lost a substantial amount of money.

Both Lee and David were instrumental in seeing this deal through to completion, using their knowledge, expertise, and contacts to identify a lender who was able to lend against the Ltd company and portfolio.

This was initially a Ltd Co. purchase. I viewed the portfolio in April 2019 and negotiated a BMV purchase price for the purchase of the company. I was advised by the few brokers that I had approached that no lender would allow me to purchase the Ltd Co using a term loan. I would have to acquire the company using a bridging loan and then exit onto term loans against the assets once I owned the company.

I approached Lee for the bridging loan and another broker for the exit loans. Both brokers identified products that would work for this purchase. About a week before Christmas, and a few weeks away from completion, the brokers who had identified the exit term mortgages (details of which were triple checked with them) advised that the products identified by them were not viable exits. At the same time, some issues with planning consents were identified and the vendor agreed to obtain certificates of lawfulness to overcome these issues. This bought me some time during which I approached around 15 different brokers to identify exits from the bridge, all of which had come back with a ‘sorry – there is no one in the market who will lend against the assets within this portfolio’. By this stage I had already invested around £23k for valuations and legal fees. I could not enter a bridge without a viable exit, and according to the many brokers I had approached, there wasn’t one.

Lee took it upon himself to make enquiries within his team and identified a couple of options for the exit with specialist lenders. He arranged a telephone meeting with one of them to discuss the exit to term loan, and it was agreed that the lenders would allow an exit at MV from the bridge at 6 months. Phew!

We had managed to overcome many hurdles and were days away form completion when Covid hit and the bridging lender reduced the LTV from 75% to 55%, leaving me unable to proceed. Once again, Lee approached the exit lender and negotiated the purchase of the Ltd company on a term loan, skipping the bridging loan process. As this was at the peak of the pandemic, they were unable to undertake valuations and so it was agreed that the deal would be put on hold until such a time that the valuations could be completed. Although the delays were disappointing, it did mean that huge risk factor of exiting the bridge had been removed. We waited a few months and went back to the lenders once on-site valuations had been given the green light. At this point the lenders apologised and advised that the risk of lending for the purchase of the Ltd Co was too high and given the uncertainty of the market at that time, they were unwilling to lend for the purchase of the Ltd Co. After speaking with Lee, although I was disappointed, I could see where they were coming from. I spoke with the vendor and negotiated the purchase of the assets at the same price as the company, which he agreed to. The lenders were then approached, and they agreed to lend against the assets at the purchase price, and the purchase completed in November 2020.

I first viewed the portfolio in April 2019 – it took 20 months for me to complete this deal! I have learnt many lessons along the way and it has absolutely highlighted to me the need to have an excellent team around you – and in this deal – the star was Lee! It was only due to Lee’s tenacity and commitment that I managed to acquire what still is an amazing deal! I felt like he had my back throughout the entire process and was always there fighting my corner. He is and will remain an invaluable member of my key team.

Billy Deol

4th December 2020

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