Durham property developer secures £20m refinancing

A £20m refinancing of Durham-based 3R Land and Property has been completed with the support of North East dealmakers, and has enabled the property business to consider “significant” development opportunities across the region.

3R received the funding from Handelsbanken in Durham, who instructed law firm Sintons to oversee the transaction. The deal, which was brokered by corporate financier Mark Nixon, is one of the largest in the city’s real estate market for several years.

Neil Hart and Peter Bartley of Bradley Hall provided commercial advice and instructed 3R on the management of its portfolio, with Baker Tilly and Knight Frank also advising on the deal.

Property business 3R – which has an extensive student accommodation portfolio in Durham, as well as an array of commercial property in Durham, Newcastle and Gateshead – is now looking at development opportunities for housing and commercial projects across the North East.

The Durham office of Handelsbanken, led by Bill Ridley, financed the deal. 3R turned to Handelsbanken after terminating its relationship with previous lender Northern Rock.

A four-Partner team at Newcastle law firm Sintons handled all of the legal aspects. Mark Dobbin, who head Sintons’ specialist banking and finance team, assisted by Laura Peace, carried out all the secured lending work. Christopher Welch provided commercial advice, and Alok Loomba handled the real estate aspects for 3R.

Robert Fulton, director of 3R, said: “Since changing to a new lender, with whom we have a very positive and supportive relationship, we are now able to consider plans for significant developments throughout the North East. We are grateful for the support of everyone who has enabled this deal to become reality.”

Mark Dobbin, Partner in the Banking and Finance team at Sintons, said: “We have worked with Handelsbanken on many substantial transactions over the course of many years, but this is our first with their Durham branch. We are very pleased to have played a role in this deal.”

Alok Loomba added: “We are delighted to have been able to work with Robert to secure this new funding deal.  Robert has a very exciting and diverse property portfolio and we know that this is the start of a long relationship between 3R and Sintons.”

Bill Ridley, head of Handelsbanken’s Durham office, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in such a significant deal for Durham and to have had the opportunity to work with great local professional teams.”

Peter Bartley, director at Bradley Hall, said: “The completion of this major refinancing opens up significant development opportunities for Robert and 3R. We are proud to have played a key role in one of the largest real estate deals in the North East this year.”

Mark Nixon, from Newcastle-based MN Corporate Finance, said: “Having worked with 3R and Handelsbanken for the past 18 months to bring this deal together, we have achieved an excellent outcome. This funding positions 3R very strongly as they consider exciting plans for developments across the region.”

Richard Urron, Associate Director at Baker Tilly North East, said: “We have worked with 3R for over 12 months assisting with the refinancing. It’s a great business and this new facility will enable the company to look forward to exciting future projects.”

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