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Kennedy Wilson Closes Debt in $2B Loan Platform With Fairfax

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Kennedy Wilson (KW - Free Report) has closed on a loan of $63 million, marking the first debt investing under its recently launched $2-billion loan platform with Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.

The debt is a senior bridge loan for a recently constructed multifamily community in Boulder, CO. It will support the lease-up of the new community that is situated in close proximity to the Denver and Boulder markets.

The community consists of apartment units ranging from studios to one-bedroom and two-bedroom multifamily units. Moreover, the community offers ground-floor retail space. Additionally, easy access to local amenities and numerous avenues for outdoor recreation activities are likely to attract renters.

The $63-million loan is in line with Kennedy Wilson’s expanding real estate-related debt investment activity and providing loans that are backed by well-built projects. In fact, over the past year, the company has purchased or originated around $450 million in real estate debt with its partners.

Realizing debt investment opportunities in key markets, the company along with its joint venture partner Fairfax announced the debt platform in May to pursue first mortgage loans secured by high-quality real estates in the Western United States, Ireland and the U.K.

Kennedy Wilson, as the asset manager in the JV, has average ownership of 20% in the investments and has invested $16 million in the first loan. It earns a customary management and performance fees from this arrangement.

Notably, such investments amid the current market mayhem are strategic fits. In fact, per management, the company witnessed high interest from sponsors, leading to a significant pipeline of opportunities.

The $2-billion platform builds on the partnership between the two companies that have made acquisitions worth $7 billion over the past decade, inclusive of more than $3 billion of real estate debt investments.

Further, it will expand the company’s investment management business amid these testing times.

However, the pandemic has resulted in uncertainty, interruption of business activities and a substantial impact on global markets as well as on consumer and business sentiment. The macroeconomic impacts of the pandemic are likely to get reflected in the company’s operations in the near term.

Moreover, shares of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have slumped 27.5% over the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 13.7%.


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