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Deal 5: Komercni Banka Transaction Manager Robert Klan on EUR 137.5 Million Loan to Accolade

Czech Republic
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On May 25, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Clifford Chance had advised Komercni Banka including a club of lenders on a EUR 137.5 million loan to the Accolade group for the construction of an Amazon automated distribution center. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Robert Klan, Transaction Manager – Global Banking at Komercni Banka, to learn more about the matter.

CEEIHM: Let's start with a brief overview of Komercni Banka and its operations in the Czech Republic.

Klan: Komercni Banka (KB), a member of Societe General Group, is one of the leading banks in the Czech Republic and one of the largest commercial banks in the CEE region providing a full range of financial services to approximately 2.25 million retail clients and over twelve thousand commercial and corporate customers. The focus on the close relationship both with retail and corporate clients gives KB a deep insight into customers´ needs and is its key driver for the continuous development and innovations of provided financial services all in all with respect to sustainability and the environment. Throughout the years, KB has built a well-respected leading position in the CEE market and enables its clients to benefit from its deep expertise in Corporate & Investment Banking, Retail Banking, and market leadership in Structured Finance.

CEEIHM: How did this deal come to be? How did Komercni Banka become involved?

Klan: The Accolade Group is perceived as one of the most important investors in the industrial real estate sector in the CEE region building a portfolio of BREEAM-certified logistic warehouses not only in the Czech Republic but also in Poland, Germany, and other countries such as recently in Spain. We have strived to initiate our cooperation with the Accolade group for quite a few years and have reviewed several promising projects. Finally, our mutual interest in supporting a sustainable business with respect to the environment and our long-term personal relationship have led to success in arranging club financing for the project located in Kojetin, in the Czech Republic, a warehouse customized for the global, leading e-commerce tenant, which by its technical definition strives to meet all relevant criteria to achieve top rank environmental certification BREEAM Excellent.

CEEIHM: And why was the Accolade group a good prospect from your perspective that convinced you to be a part of the club of lenders?

Klan: Our risk attitude in real estate financing is rather complex comprising of a review of the investor´s experience, its business strategy, location and economy of the project, and, last but not least, the quality and creditworthiness of tenants. Always, in case there is a single-tenant structure, our due diligence is even more prudent and conservative. We have had three driving factors for our decision to go for this deal: firstly, to expand cooperation with one of the largest professional industrial investors in the Czech Republic, secondly, an excellent risk profile of the deal related to the quality of the asset and the tenant, and, lastly, KB’s eminent interest in leading an ESG trophy financing deal. Apparently, it is currently the largest single-warehouse investment in the history of the Czech Republic and we are honored to be part of it.

CEEIHM: How was the legal work on the matter split on your end between your in-house legal team and that of Clifford Chance's?

Klan: Our internal legal department has been very closely involved in the financing from the beginning. Their valuable role in the preparatory and due diligence was transferred to relevant outcomes of the financing structure, terms, and conditions. Only after our internal final “green light” for the financing, we have launched an open tender for the legal work – the winner was the team of Clifford Chance. Nevertheless, even after Clifford got its hands on the deal, the collaboration between them and our legal team remained in place and I am happy to say – it was brilliant.

CEEIHM: And why did you choose them, in particular, to assist on this deal?

Klan: Well, as already mentioned, Clifford participated in the tender for legal works. Their offer in terms of the scope of work, the experience of the involved team, and, finally, the commercial conditions were objectively the best one. However, as a transaction manager, responsible for the delivery of the transaction and its coordination with the client, I also consider the personal level of the whole cooperation extremely important. Thanks to the excellent experience with Clifford from previous transactions, giving me the confidence that I can rely on their professionalism in all key aspects, I was personally happy to have them on board. Together with other colleagues from KB including the legal, coverage, syndication, and investment banking departments with similar counterparties in the other two banks we have formed a brilliant deal team capable to face extreme time pressure given by strict project deadlines. Finally, the deal team proved to be very professional, flexible, and reliable but also very friendly and supportive and I am proud to have a had chance to become part of that.

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