Helaba’s €129m financing helps Accolade optimise logistics portfolio
Logistics specialist set to reap dividend from reduced costs and improvement of its debt maturity profile.
Accolade has received a long-term financing of five industrial parks in Poland: Gorzów Wielkopolski, Szczecin Załom (West), Szczecin Kniewska, Częstochowa and Kielce. The €129 million refinancing loan was delivered by its new financing partner Helaba.
“This is a second large refinancing of our Polish portfolio, after the first that we closed in September 2020 and extended in September 2021 amid the covid pandemic,” said Tomas Prochazka, chief financial officer of Accolade Group. “The times and the market have changed so much since that time for different reasons and have been a real challenge to many players.
Accolade’s strategy, however, “proved to be bullet-proof and we continue in building long-lasting relationships with the major European banking groups”, Prochazka continued. “Financing with our new partner, Helaba Bank, placing confidence in our operations, is yet another positive verification. We are very excited that we secured this deal.”
Accolade and Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen have agreed on the refinancing of five parks located in Gorzow Wielkopolski, Szczecin, Czestochowa and Kielce. New financing, amounting to an aggregate value of €129 million, provided for five years period, is the first transaction between the parties. For Accolade, the refinancing means reduced costs of bank financing, less administrative burden and improvement of the debt maturity profile, resulting in increased profitability of portfolio for years to come.
Banks becoming selective
Meanwhile, the market situation, especially increasing interest rates resulting in higher financing costs, has become very demanding for some investors. In the face of the general macro-economic situation, the banks are tending to be very selective in respect to real estate segments and client groups that they finance.
“This is the first time we have worked with Helaba and are delighted that they trusted us from the start by providing a significant amount of the new financing,” said Jakub Leszczynski, general counsel for Accolade in Poland. “We understand the trust is attributable to the experienced Accolade team taking care of the diversified portfolio of properties and Accolade clients operating in the properties.
‘The new loan is strategically improving the financing structure of our portfolio in Poland and enables us to focus on further growth in the market.’
Jakub Leszczynski, general counsel for Accolade Group in Poland
The new loan is strategically improving the financing structure of our portfolio in Poland and enables us to focus on further growth in the market, while continuing in our cooperation with all other major banks operating in Poland.”
With this transaction, Helaba has become one of the two largest financing banks for Accolade in Poland. “Accolade is one of the key players in the logistics sector in CEE and meanwhile expanding its operation to Western Europe as well,” said Martin Erbe, Helaba’s head of real estate financing for CEE, Benelux and international clients Germany.
“During the financing process Accolade proved a reliable and professional partner and the cooperation with Helaba’s CEE team, led by Georg Blaschke, was at all times trustful and dedicated to closing the financing in a short period. We hope to continue the relationship with Accolade in future and help them to expand their business into new markets.”
Today, Accolade owns 25 modern industrial parks in all parts of Poland, including strategic locations such as the refinanced Szczecin or Gorzow Wielkopolski. The success of this business model is founded on good geographic diversification, for example along the western border, as well as the optimal mix of tenants’ fields of business. A third of the group’s portfolio is from the e-commerce sector, another third is logistics and warehousing, and the final third comprises light production, machinery, automotive, and other processing industry brands.
‘During the financing process Accolade proved a reliable partner and the cooperation with Helaba’s CEE team was at all times trustful and dedicated to closing the financing in a short period.’
Martin Erbe, Helaba
The company is also a frontrunner in ESG trends, being a catalyst for sustainable local development.
Helaba is one of the leading banks in the German financial capital of Frankfurt. The Helaba Group employs approximately 6,300 people and has total assets of €214 billion. It is a full-service bank closely incorporated in the German Sparkasse organisation. It provides a comprehensive range covering the whole of the value chain from finance, design and development to the operation of high-end properties. Helaba also offers a host of attractive participation opportunities for institutional investors.
Helaba started business in Central Eastern Europe in 2006. The bank finances office, retail, residential and logistics properties in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia for institutional investors.