Battersea owners EPF, PNB said to seek RM8b loan

TWO major backers of London’s Battersea Power Station project are sounding out banks for a loan of about £1.5 billion (RM7.95 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.

Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and state-owned asset manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) are expected to hire banks shortly, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private.

Proceeds will be used to refinance existing borrowings and complete the purchase of commercial assets being developed as part of the Battersea Power Station project’s second phase, the people said.

EPF and PNB said in a statement in January that they plan to spend about £1.6 billion on the acquisition, which will give them ownership in a residential and office development where Apple Inc plans to have its UK headquarters.

A representative for EPF declined to comment. PNB said in a statement that due diligence is ongoing, and it would be premature to comment on the loan.

The Battersea Power Station building is about halfway through a comprehensive reconstruction that will be completed in late 2020, according to the January statement.

The work, which is the largest historic building development undertaken in the UK, is part of a wider 42-acre (17ha) mixed-use project.

The power station gained worldwide recognition after being used as the iconic cover illustration for rock band Pink Floyd’s platinum 1977 album “Animals”.

It was depicted on the cover with a pig floating between two of its four chimneys. — Bloomberg