Bridging loan to pay VAT on the acquisition commercial properties

31 January 2024

Sarah Bradford, a legal director and Zahra Farooq, a senior associate both work within our commercial property department specialising in property finance matters. they act for a wide range of lenders seeking to secure loans by taking a charge (or mortgage) over property.

They were instructed to act for a private equity lender in relation to a secured bridging loan to enable the borrower to pay VAT due on the acquisition of two commercial properties. The security property comprised two commercial long leasehold Units.

Drawdown of the loan was required quickly, within a couple of weeks, to enable the borrower to utilise the funds on completion of the property acquisition. Sarah and Zahra worked closely with the lender and finance broker as well as the banking team to understand the lender’s commercial position and risk appetite.This enabled them to offer a bespoke approach to the property due diligence and reporting process to meet the tight timescale involved.

They prepared the legal charge and ancillary documentation for the lender in collaboration with the banking team who prepared the underlying loan agreement.

The lender had agreed to take a second legal charge over the property, so it’s security would rank behind a primary lender taking a first legal charge over the property. A Deed of Priority between the two lenders was negotiated and agreed alongside the loan agreement and legal charge to document the ranking of the two legal charges.

Sarah and Zahra communicated throughout with the lender client, the commercial finance broker, the banking team at Higgs, the borrower’s lawyers and the lawyers acting for the primary lender to ensure that the documents were prepared, negotiated and agreed as quickly as possible and to deal with the mechanics of completion.

Bespoke undertakings were required between the various lawyers involved to ensure that both lenders’ charges were properly completed and registered at Companies House and the Land Registry.

Sarah and Zahra worked as an extension of the client’s business and part of the lender’s professional team, taking a pragmatic commercial approach and demonstrating agility and efficiency in enabling their lender client to obtain security for the loan.

The lender and their professional team have thanked us for helping to drive the transaction and manage the process with the various lawyers involved for the different parties to successfully achieve completion.

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