Accolade has signed a record loan agreement with three leading banks. CZK 3.4 billion will now go towards the construction of the most modern distribution centre in the Czech Republic
Accolade Group, which focuses on investments in premium industrial properties, has signed a loan agreement with a bank club for EUR 137.5 million (approximately CZK 3.4 billion). This is the largest loan ever granted for a single rental industrial property in the CEE region. The money is partly used to finance the construction of an automated distribution centre near Kojetín.
“We thank the cooperating banks for their confidence not only in Accolade’s activities, but also in the future development of the industrial real estate market in general. We are very happy about this,” said Milan Kratina, CEO of Accolade. In addition to traditional factors, the strong interest in industrial properties in the Czech Republic is also supported by a huge increase in e-commerce. According to statistics of the Industrial Research Forum, last year the demand for renting such spaces increased by more than 60% compared to 2020.
Accolade Group signed a loan agreement with the banks in the first quarter of this year. The parameters of the financing are set to take into account long-term cash flow so that the loan can be properly repaid. The bank club is led by Komerční banka, for which the agreement with Accolade represents the first mutual cooperation. Other members are Česká spořitelna and Raiffeisenbank.
Accolade will use the bank loan to finance the construction and long-term holding of an industrial hall in Kojetin which is being built on the brownfield site of a former sugar factory. The tenant will be one of the world’s leading e-commerce companies, which will bring up to 2,000 jobs to the region with the opening of the hall.
“The project in Kojetín is unique in many respects. The granting of the loan is, among other things, a confirmation for us of the exceptional environmental friendliness of the construction, as the financing banks subjected the project to a very strict assessment before granting the loan, not only in terms of the sustainability of the financing, but also in terms of environmental friendliness. The complex heating system, the application of solar panels for electricity generation and the environmentally friendly approach during construction helped to meet the demanding requirements based on the newly applied EU rules,” explained Accolade’s CFO Tomáš Procházka, adding that in addition to the financing of the project itself, Accolade Group also negotiated a hedging of the interest rate risk, which enabled it to fix attractive interest rates for the entire financing period.
“We appreciate the client’s trust and mandate as the lead arranger of the financing of the Kojetín logistics park, which was created by revitalising a brownfield site and which meets the most stringent requirements for sustainable development, including aspirations for the prestigious BREEAM Excellent environmental certification. We are very pleased with this ambition, as supporting sustainable projects is one of the main priorities not only of KB, but also of the entire Société Générale Group,” said Radek Trachta, Executive Director for Global Banking at Komerční banka, a.s.
“We are pleased that the financing provided will enable Accolade, with which we have long cooperated, to implement a unique project. It also reflects Česká spořitelna’s strategic priorities, i.e. to enable the client to obtain long-term favourable and sustainable financing conditions. Moreover, this project reflects our emphasis on environmental sustainability, which we as a bank promote,” emphasised Martina Jůzová, Česká spořitelna’s Real Estate Business Manager.
The industrial facility near Kojetín, which is scheduled to be handed over to the tenant this summer, will meet the most demanding requirements for a modern distribution centre in the 21st century. The total area of the hall will exceed 187,000 sqm. Considering that it will be a unique multi-storey building, the floor plan will occupy only 51,000 sqm. Robots and artificial intelligence will also be heavily involved in the operation of the hall. Accolade’s intention with the building is to aspire to an exceptionally high score in the BREEAM environmental certification.
For example, natural features such as loggeries, lizard pits and insect hotels, as well as bee keeping, are planned for the site. Accolade will also plant approximately 500 trees, 300 of them on site and the rest in Kojetín. The entire distribution centre will be heated by heat pumps instead of gas. Photovoltaic panels with a capacity of approximately 4 MW will be installed on the roof of the hall. Most of the electricity will be consumed in the distribution centre, with the unconsumed part being fed back into the grid by the building.
The emphasis on ecology has influenced the building from its inception. The turnkey construction is being carried out by Goldbeck Bau, which operates a precast concrete plant approximately 12 kilometres from Kojetín. The proximity of the railway to the site made it possible to transport 6,800 panels weighing more than 80,000 tonnes by train to the site. The trains replaced the 2,267 trucks that would have been used to transport these panels. The distance from which the building materials are transported is one of the many criteria that go into the environmental impact assessment of the building and the subsequent BREEAM certification.