Bank of China issues $500M to Vornado in refi of 640 Fifth Avenue

REIT sold minority stake in property in April
By Kathryn Brenzel | June 07, 2019 07:02PM

Steven Roth, CEO of Vornado and 640 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Vornado Realty Trust)

Steven Roth, CEO of Vornado and 640 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Vornado Realty Trust)

Vornado Realty Trust landed $500 million from the Bank of China for three of its retail properties, including 640 Fifth Avenue.

In April, the real estate investment trust sold a minority stake in its Fifth Avenue and Times Square retail portfolio— which includes the office and retail tower at 640 Fifth — in a deal that valued the assets at about $5.6 billion. Vornado transferred 45.4 percent common equity interest in the portfolio to a joint venture led by Crown Acquisitions consisting of sovereign wealth and pension funds, including the Qatar Investment Authority.

At the time, Vornado said it would retain a 58 percent stake in the portfolio, or $2.8 billon worth of common equity. Though the $500 million, five-year loan was announced at the time of the sale, the lender hasn’t been previously reported. At the time, the Commercial Observer reported that Vornado was expecting a $500 million loan to refinance 640 Fifth Avenue. Property records show the loan also involves two adjacent buildings, 6 West 52nd Street and 650 Fifth Avenue. Previous debt issued on the properties wasn’t immediately clear from public records.

Representatives for Vornado weren’t immediately available to comment on the deal.

Crown Acquisitions advised on the sale of Vornado’s minority stake. The company’s principal, Haim Chera, joined Vornado as its head of retail around the same time the deal was announced.