Granite City property group ties up refinancing

NORTH-east property company Andrew’s Homes has struck a £20 million refinancing deal with Swedish lender Handelsbanken that will allow it to further expand its Scottish portfolio.
Handelsbankens Neil Clark with Jonathan Harper of Andrews HomesHandelsbankens Neil Clark with Jonathan Harper of Andrews Homes
Handelsbankens Neil Clark with Jonathan Harper of Andrews Homes

The five-year deal marks a switch of bankers for Andrew’s Homes, previously a client of Lloyds Banking Group. The new agreement covers the company’s assets in the west end of Aberdeen, where the family-run firm is headquartered.

The firm focuses on leasing prime residential and commercial property, with the latter accounting for about three-quarters of its £35m or so portfolio. It has been a key player in Aberdeen since the company was launched in 1969 by the late Barrie Harper, father of current owner and manager Jonathan Harper.

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In addition to Aberdeen, Andrew’s Homes also has investments in Dundee and Inverness.

“Securing this substantial refinancing deal with Handelsbanken is a significant achievement which creates a solid foundation for us to make key decisions and consider future potential opportunities,” Harper said.

“This is a new relationship with Handelsbanken, and business is all about partnerships, and that is what my father believed in too.

“Securing this funding gives us the opportunity to consider expanding our portfolio further across Scotland, as well as in Aberdeen, and we are currently looking at a couple of major property deals in the Aberdeen area.”

The agreement is one of the biggest to date in the Granite City for Handelsbanken, a low-profile “relationship” bank that has had a branch in the city’s Carden Place since early 2014. The branch is headed by Neil Clark, who welcomed the addition of his new client.

“Andrew’s Homes is a well-respected, family-run business which has been around for a long time and has a very strong property portfolio in the city and further afield,” he said.

“The company’s track record in the property market and core values as a business is an excellent fit for Handelsbanken and this will be a long-term relationship working in partnership to support Andrew’s Homes with their company vision.”

Its portfolio currently includes 19 residential and nine commercial properties, with the latter focused upon quality Grade A sites with established tenants.

In Aberdeen’s west end, this includes the corporate offices of Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, both in Albyn Place.