Oakland completes refinancing of Merchant Square after PwC handover

Oakland Holdings has signed off on a major refinancing of Merchant Square, which was recently handed over to Big Four firm PwC.

Construction of the Belfast development started in 2018, with the ten-floor building comprising 230,000 sq ft of grade A office space.

It was funded through a combination of Oakland Holding's own investment and loans from Fairfield Real Estate and the Northern Ireland Investment Fund.

PwC will centralise its Northern Ireland operation in Merchant Square, where it will house 3,000 employees when fully occupied.

Adam Dickson, finance director of Oakland Holdings, said: "In spite of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, and the difficult economic circumstances, we handed over Merchant Square at the end of June.

"We have replaced the old 1960s style commercial buildings that were previously on this site and now we have a shining example of what Belfast can achieve when we are ambitious and brave in our decision making.

"The re-financing of the development means that we can look ahead to new and further expansions in Belfast and across these islands."

The refinancing was overseen by Radius Corporate Finance, whose director Brian Loughan added: "After we managed a six-month competitive process involving more than 60 possible lenders, early in 2020 Danske Bank was selected to be funder for the refinance.

"This refinance helps bookend a very successful project by Oakland Holdings, and is indicative of the calibre of projects that Oakland Holdings will seek to continue with in the years ahead."

The legal adviser for the Oakland Group was A&L Goodbody, while Danske Bank was advised by Millar McCall Wylie.