Värde Provides $185 Million Refinancing for 20-Property Self-Storage Portfolio

MINNEAPOLIS — Värde Partners, a leading global alternative investment firm, today announced that it has provided a $185 million loan for the refinancing of a multi-state self-storage portfolio to a joint venture between Metro Storage and Fremont Realty Capital. 

The portfolio comprises 20 state-of-the-art, Class A self-storage facilities in mature markets across six states: Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin. With 14,215 units in total, the assets include over 1.55 million net rentable square feet. 

The floating-rate bridge loan, structured by Talonvest Capital, has a three-year initial term with two one-year extension options. It will be used to refinance the existing debt on the portfolio, allowing the joint venture time and flexibility to capitalize on the portfolio’s growth potential. 

“Värde welcomed the opportunity to partner with deeply experienced, institutional companies in the self-storage industry as a trusted provider of capital,” said Jon Miller, Managing Director at Värde. “This significant transaction underscores the strength and continued growth of our platform and the range of compelling opportunities to lend in sectors with strong fundamentals.”  

Building on a period of increased demand during the pandemic, Värde sees the self-storage sector as positioned to continue benefitting from current market dynamics such as population growth and higher home prices. With younger generations renting for longer due to higher interest rates and property costs, self-storage fills an important need. Lower sensitivity to economic downturns as well as generally low maintenance and capex needs add to the appeal of the asset class.  

Värde has 30 years of experience investing in real estate and has originated over $7 billion in commercial real estate loans since 2017. Through its CRE lending program, Värde is a non-recourse, balance sheet lender financing all major asset classes. Värde focuses on providing flexible capital and certainty of execution to meet the needs of experienced real estate investors. 

About Värde Partners
Värde Partners is a leading global alternative investment firm specializing in credit and credit-related assets. Founded in 1993, the firm has invested more than $100 billion across the credit quality and liquidity spectrum in both public and private markets. Värde currently manages approximately $13 billion in assets with teams in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific focused on Corporate & Traded Credit, Real Estate, and Financial Services & Diversified Private Credit. For more information, please visit www.varde.com. 

About Fremont Realty Capital
Fremont Realty Capital is the real estate private equity business unit of the Fremont Group, the investment office of the Bechtel family of San Francisco. Since formation in 1997, Fremont Realty Capital has provided investors with superior risk-adjusted returns and value-creation through investments in non-traditional and traditional real estate sectors, both domestically and abroad. Our success results from a disciplined investment strategy, enduring relationships with best-in-class operating partners, and the collective experience of the firm’s principals. The firm has made investments in more than 13 countries across the United States and Europe over 25 years totaling more than $5 billion of total capitalization. 

About Metro Storage
Metro Storage, based in the Chicago area, is a privately owned, fully integrated, international self-storage company specializing in the development, construction, acquisition, and management of self-storage facilities in the USA and Central America. Metro operates under the trademark “Metro Self Storage” in the US, and is one of the top 10 largest owner/operators of self-storage facilities in the United States with over 85 stores covering 12 states, representing over 6.1 million rentable square feet. Metro Storage International (MSI) has an affiliate/partner in Central America which operates under the trade name “Mr. B,” and is Central America’s leading self-storage operator with locations throughout Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. More information about the firm is available at www.metrostorage.com. 

About Talonvest Capital
Talonvest Capital leverages their extensive industry experience to source cutting-edge lending programs and advise on capital market trends for self-storage, industrial, multifamily, office and retail owners. They have negotiated over $11B in capital for clients and their properties across the country. 

 

Marcia Page Awarded 2024 Trailblazer Award by With Intelligence at Women’s Private Credit Summit

MINNEAPOLIS – Värde Partners, a leading global alternative investment firm, and MPowered Capital, an investment firm established to invest in best-in-class female and other underrepresented talent in the alternative investment space, are delighted to announce that Marcia Page is the recipient of With Intelligence’s 2024 Trailblazer Award.

This award, in recognition of Marcia’s notable career and accomplishments as a pioneer in the alternatives industry, was presented at the With Intelligence Women’s Private Credit Summit in Chicago on June 12th.

Marcia co-founded Värde Partners in 1993, overseeing the firm’s growth from a Midwest start-up to a leading global alternative investment firm. She served as Co-CEO and Co-CIO from the firm’s founding until she transitioned to an Executive Chair role in 2016. Marcia is one of only a few female founders of a successful alternative asset manager that now has a 30-year track record.

Among her many accomplishments throughout her monumental career, Marcia has been an advocate of driving diversity, equity and inclusion in the finance industry and has committed significant time and capital to help champion these efforts. Most recently, Marcia launched MPowered Capital, which aims to accelerate the growth and equity of female and other underrepresented talent in the industry by providing them access to the necessary capital, commitment and connections to help grow their firms.

MPowered operates as an independently-managed investment firm and has been developed in collaboration and partnership with Värde Partners to leverage certain business and operational capabilities.

About Värde Partners

Värde Partners is a leading global alternative investment firm specializing in credit and credit-related assets. Founded in 1993, the firm has invested more than $100 billion across the credit quality and liquidity spectrum in both public and private markets. Värde currently manages approximately $13 billion in assets with teams in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific focused on Corporate & Traded Credit, Real Estate and Financial Services & Diversified Private Credit. For more information, please visit www.varde.com.

About MPowered Capital

MPowered Capital, a women-led, independently-managed investment firm, invests in best-in-class diverse talent (including women, racial/ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented groups) in private alternatives. The firm brings a powerful blend of investment experience, business-building expertise, and a robust industry network to help diverse investing talent reduce start-up friction, accelerate growth, and build for scale. MPowered believes it is uniquely positioned to provide its investors with diversified investment opportunities through GP structured partnerships, direct/co-investments and fund investments while seeking to generate superior risk-adjusted returns. By providing diverse investment talent with access to capital, commitment and connections, MPowered also seeks to accelerate equity in the industry. For more information, visit www.mpoweredcapital.com.

Capitalizing on a New Era of Non-Bank Lending

Värde’s Head of Real Estate Lending, Jim Dunbar, spoke with PERE Credit for a keynote interview discussing opportunities and trends in commercial real estate lending. Jim outlines the macro forces converging to reshape the CRE finance landscape, the sectors Värde finds most compelling today and the role CRE debt plays in investors’ portfolios.

 

Värde Partners sees the current market environment as the second key phase in the growth of non-bank lending in commercial real estate, the first being the aftermath of the global financial crisis, when alternative lenders stepped in to fill the void left by banks and commercial mortgage-backed securities markets.

The firm was an early mover in the post-GFC world of non-bank lending. Jim Dunbar, partner and head of real estate lending, spearheaded the build-out of Värde’s commercial real estate lending business, which today has originated over $7 billion in loans. Anticipating a continued trend toward non-bank lending, Värde acquired Atlanta-based commercial real estate asset management and servicing firm Trimont in 2015, which services over $230 billion of loans.

“We have been investing in real estate for 30 years, up and down the real estate capital structure in different forms: credit and equity, from nonperforming loans through the origination of new loans,” says Dunbar, who is based in the firm’s Minneapolis office. “We’re incredibly excited about the lending opportunities in commercial real estate and believe we are at an inflection point with a highly compelling environment ahead of us over the next several years.”

“The way we think about our CRE lending platform within Värde is consistent with how we think about credit investing across our broader business,” he adds. “It’s about first understanding why that real estate asset exists – the underlying fundamentals – then basing our view on how to create exposure to it from that fundamental perspective.”

As the market grapples with a looming refinancing wave, higher-for-longer interest rates, and the retrenchment of regional bank lenders, Dunbar points to multifamily, student housing, and hospitality as areas of opportunity. This strategy, he says, resonates with investors looking to capitalize on the premium return in senior debt, backed by hard assets and with current income.

Why is now an interesting time for commercial real estate lending? What market forces are at play?

There are two main macro forces converging right now, squarely impacting commercial real estate.

First, real estate owners need to recapitalize or refinance during a time when the cost of capital has increased significantly driven by what’s happened to rates over the last 18 months. This higher cost of capital has led to a decrease in asset values across the entire market. Even for real estate owners who have hit all their business plan objectives and where rents are steady, there is still a downdraft on valuations.

Further, there is the wall of maturities over the next three years, about $2 trillion in total – and starting in 2024, there’s the expiration of the interest rate caps that were put in place for three-year floating-rate debt originated back in 2021. As these caps roll off and maturities hit, borrowers will face a decision: either fund or raise additional equity to facilitate a refinancing or extension, or sell the property.

The second macro point is that the largest lender to commercial real estate, the regional banking system with about $1.5 trillion of exposure, is pulling back right when this recapitalization needs to occur. With those two forces coming together, we think it’s going to be a very attractive time to lend to commercial real estate owners.

What informs your lending approach? Where have you been active and what kinds of loans are you originating?

We look for themes from a lending perspective that we believe in across our broader real estate business.

In our lending program, we typically focus on $40 million-$125 million floating rate mortgages throughout the US, and our average balance is right around $55 million. These are generally three-year terms with extension options out to five years. We generally look to target an LTV between 65-75 percent depending on the underlying property type.

Historically, we’ve been fairly balanced between refinancings and acquisition finance. Today, we’re seeing a heavier tilt toward refinance opportunities as borrowers look for lending partners to support a business strategy or bridge to a better, more normalized market. However, with the Fed indicating fewer rate cuts, this potentially pushes real estate owners toward selling properties as the cost of extending has increased, and that may support more acquisition financings.

Have you evolved your approach to underwriting as the market has changed?

Our fundamental approach has remained consistent over time: we focus on understanding the assets, the markets they operate in and the sponsors behind them. Also, given Värde’s background in distressed investing, downside protection is always top of mind.

Importantly, we constantly evaluate and re-evaluate the factors feeding into our underwriting because real estate dynamics and market drivers are always changing. We are not only looking at what’s happening in the market but also evaluating what we see within our portfolio and how our existing borrowers are addressing challenges. This is supplemented by Trimont, who provides us with additional underwriting services and can bring to bear their broader market level relationships and information to our due diligence process.

Office tends to dominate the headlines. Can you tell us what sectors you find most compelling, what sectors are a pass, and which ones are worth a second look?

Office is only about 15 percent of the overall market, but it gets more than its share of the headlines. We agree that there are real structural demand issues in the sector and aren’t actively lending in it, but there are lots of opportunities outside of office.

We are focused largely on housing – multifamily, primarily, and also build-to-rent and student housing. While multifamily has pockets of supply in the southeastern and southwestern markets that need to be absorbed over the next 18-24 months, fundamentally, we believe those housing units will be needed over the medium term. Student housing is another place where we’re active on the debt and equity side, particularly with larger universities where there are positive enrollment trends and in gateway markets where supply is limited and students compete with high market rents for traditional multifamily product.

Hospitality is another area of focus. In 2021, we saw a significant opportunity to finance high-quality hotels across the country when banks and insurance companies retreated. Hotel assets can be seen as challenging because of the short-term and economy-sensitive revenue cycle of room rentals, and they are also very capital-intensive – but we have deep expertise in that sector, and those factors limit the number of groups we compete with in this market.

Outside of housing and hospitality, we see opportunities in medical office, which has historically had a very sticky tenant base, creating durable yield that we like both on the debt and the equity side. We are also active in the self-storage space and are seeing opportunities in data centers as well.

Overall, I wouldn’t say we pass on any sector – we bake into our underwriting our fundamental view of values for each asset. Recently though, we have done less heavy renovation or repositioning trades and generally avoid construction lending today.

What do you anticipate will be the biggest challenge for real estate owners over the next several years, and what does it mean for your strategy?

Sponsor liquidity is certainly top of mind for us. Real estate owners are experiencing increased expenses and costs associated with owning and operating assets. You have the impacts of what’s happening in offices and hybrid work impacting city budgets. That flows into real estate tax pressures. You also have weather events – fires, hurricanes – driving up insurance costs in certain states, and that’s bleeding in on a national basis, too. Add to that, the wage growth we’ve seen in recent years is impacting different properties because of the labor components to operate these buildings.

Sponsorship and access to liquidity become an important part of our analysis given the pressures borrowers are facing. These costs all flow into our analysis around profitability, valuation, and ability to support today’s cost of capital.

Considering where we are in the market cycle, what role does commercial real estate debt play in investor portfolios today?

We believe commercial real estate lending should be a core allocation in investor portfolios, especially in today’s market environment.

We have invested through many cycles and our approach at the beginning of any of them is to be senior in the capital stack and the most downside protected, especially while clarity in the cycle emerges. Today, we see a return premium investors can capture for the senior part of the capital stack driven by mortgage rates and forward net operating income growth.

There is certainly a place for more opportunistic allocations to real estate, but we believe that will be a larger opportunity later in this cycle whereas we have this refinancing wave upon us now.

We also think an allocation to CRE lending acts as a valuable diversifier to complement investors’ direct lending allocations – especially in today’s cycle, it seems prudent to have security over hard assets that have already seen a reset in valuations, instead of corporate cashflow.

One of the hallmarks of the last decade has been the rise of the non-bank lenders. What is it about Värde’s platform or approach that sets your firm apart?

Värde invests across the capital stack and across asset classes in a variety of geographies allowing us to take in diverse views on sectors as we aim to ensure we’re protected on downside risks. We have been investing in real estate for 30 years, so we have certainly built-up significant expertise and relationships over that time.

With Trimont as part of the broader Värde platform, we believe it gives us a very strong platform, after loans are made, to work with borrowers on a day-to-day basis.

Then from a pure sourcing perspective, we’ve been active in this market for eight years, having originated over $7 billion in CRE loans. Approximately 35 percent of our lending is with repeat borrowers, which we believe is a testament to our reputation for partnering with borrowers and providing certainty of execution.

This article was sponsored by Värde Partners. Originally published by PERE Credit.

Värde Recognized by Reorg as the Most Active India Private Credit Lender in FY2023/24

MUMBAI – Värde Partners is pleased to be recognized by Reorg as the most active private credit provider in India based on Reorg’s deal tracking for India’s 2023/24 fiscal year. The full report is available here.

Värde brings a partnership approach to structuring tailored capital solutions for borrowers representing a diverse range of industries. The firm’s local knowledge, developed over 16 years in Asia Pacific with offices in Mumbai and Singapore, is complemented by a global relative value perspective. We believe the combination of India’s economic growth trajectory, local banking system restrictions, and increasing market orientation toward non-bank lending creates a sustainable structural premium for investing in the region. The need for private capital solutions in India has increased markedly, and we believe the long-term outlook for private credit is positive.

Disclaimer: This recognition is not indicative of the past or future performance of any Värde product or service and should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance of Värde or any of its funds. The methodology for this recognition is set forth in the report linked above.

Värde Partners and David Weekley Homes Announce Land Banking Joint Venture

MINNEAPOLIS – Värde Partners, a leading global alternative investment firm specializing in credit and credit-related assets, and David Weekley Homes, one of the largest privately-held national home builders, today announced the formation of a joint venture to land bank residential communities for David Weekley Homes across the nation.

The land banking facility, provided by Värde, offers significant capacity to acquire and develop residential lots in high-demand U.S. markets, such as Phoenix, Tampa, Atlanta, Orlando and Charlotte. David Weekley Homes will manage the sourcing and land development.

The joint venture has already closed on two projects in Phoenix, totaling over $100 million of project costs, and expects to scale the partnership with a pipeline of deals projected to close over the coming months.

“We are pleased to formalize this new relationship with Värde, which will support our company’s growth goals and align with our longstanding asset-lite strategy,” said Heather Humphrey, Chief Financial Officer at David Weekley Homes. “The firm’s extensive experience investing in residential land development and reputation within the market made them a great partner for this venture. We are excited to have established this facility and look forward to an enduring partnership.”

“Värde’s vast experience in U.S. housing and land development positions us as a valuable partner and provider of capital to homebuilders,” said Brendan Bosman, a Senior Managing Director at Värde Partners. “David Weekley Homes is a preferred home builder in several master-planned communities in which Värde invests and has a reputation for operating with integrity and delivering high-quality homes. We are excited to embark on this partnership with them.”

Värde has 30 years of experience investing in real estate credit and assets with deep expertise across all major asset classes. The firm’s investments in U.S. residential real estate and home building include strategic land banking partnerships and a portfolio of master-planned communities. Värde’s global real estate team is supported by in-house asset management professionals as well as a partnership with an industry-leading servicer and asset manager.

About David Weekley Homes
David Weekley Homes, founded in 1976, operates in 19 markets across the United States and is headquartered in Houston. David Weekley Homes was the first builder in the United States to be awarded the Triple Crown of American Home Building, an honor which includes “America’s Best Builder,” “National Housing Quality Award” and “National Builder of the Year.” David Weekley Homes has been recognized 17 times by Great Place to Work® and Fortune magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Since inception, David Weekley Homes has closed more than 120,000 homes. For more information about David Weekley Homes, visit the company’s website at www.davidweekleyhomes.com.

About Värde Partners
Värde Partners is a leading global alternative investment firm specializing in credit and credit-related assets. Founded in 1993, the firm has invested more than $100 billion across the credit quality and liquidity spectrum in both public and private markets. Värde currently manages approximately $13 billion in assets with teams in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific focused on Corporate & Traded Credit, Real Estate, and Financial Services & Diversified Private Credit. For more information, please visit www.varde.com.

Värde Provides €70 Million Refinancing Loan for Dublin Multifamily and Hospitality Properties

LONDON – Värde Partners, a leading global alternative investment firm specializing in credit and credit-related assets, today announced that an entity owned by Värde-managed funds has provided a €70 million loan to the Moran Group for the refinancing of commercial real estate assets in Dublin, Ireland.

The loan is backed by the newly developed Rockpoint apartment complex in south Dublin as well as the Red Cow Moran Hotel and adjacent Red Cow Inn pub located in southwest Dublin. The Moran Group, run by the Moran family of prominent hoteliers, has owned and operated the Red Cow complex for more than 30 years. Rockpoint, completed in January 2024, is the newest addition to their portfolio of residential properties.

“We would like to thank Värde Partners for backing us on this financing, and we look forward to growing our business with their continued support,” said Michael Moran, a Director at the Moran Group.

“This deal exemplifies Värde’s tailored, partnership approach to structuring financing solutions for strong borrowers backed by well-located assets,” said Tony Iannazzo, a Partner at Värde. “We are pleased to partner with the Moran Group during an exciting chapter in their history, particularly with the launch of Rockpoint, bringing high-quality housing to the undersupplied Dublin market. We welcome opportunities to work with asset owners across Europe as they navigate a dynamic real estate market.”

Värde has 30 years of experience investing in real estate credit and assets with deep expertise across all major asset classes. Värde’s global real estate team is supported by in-house asset management professionals as well as a partnership with an industry-leading servicer and asset manager. As an originator of real estate credit solutions, Värde seeks to provide flexible capital and certainty of execution to borrowers.

About Värde Partners
Värde Partners is a leading global alternative investment firm specializing in credit and credit-related assets. Founded in 1993, the firm has invested more than $100 billion across the credit quality and liquidity spectrum in both public and private markets. Värde currently manages approximately $13 billion in assets with teams in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific focused on Corporate & Traded Credit, Real Estate, and Financial Services & Diversified Private Credit. For more information, please visit www.varde.com.