The Galleria announces $67 million debt refinancing

RetailME Bureau

Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI), a business unit of Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Company, and Gulf Related, a regional real estate development company focused on high-end retail, residential and mixed-use real estate developments in the Middle East, has refinanced the debt of their signature joint project, The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD).

The $67.4 million refinancing facility will help The Galleria to further strengthen its capital structure, reduce its borrowing cost and generate over 50% in annual interest expense savings. The loan refinancing was signed following the successful opening and full leasing of The Galleria mall in August of this year.

The debt facility, which represents 60% of the total project cost of The Galleria over an eight-year term, was finalised today at a signing ceremony between Mubadala, Gulf Related and NBAD. Given its attractive terms and strong endorsement of the project, NBAD was the partner of choice to lead this refinancing.

“Our successful opening and full leasing of the project has made it possible for our joint-venture with Gulf Related to refinance the project’s existing debt at attractive terms. This is the second partnership with NBAD on Al Maryah Island and we look forward to growing our partnership with them,” says Ali Eid AlMheiri, executive director of MREI.

“The recent opening of The Galleria and strong traction to date, as evidenced by the 100% leasing rate achieved, is a strong testimony to the strength and strong cash flow of the project. Mubadala and Gulf Related had specific refinancing and structuring needs and we are pleased to have met their demands with this innovative financing structure,” says Alex Thursby, group CEO, NBAD.

“This innovative refinancing facility is an important part of our continued financial and operational enhancement of our Galleria investment and will allow us to optimise the capital structure of the project, reduce borrowing cost and enhance shareholder value,” adds Dr Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital and co-managing partner of Gulf Related.