Lenders pursuing Battersea owner

Marion Dakers

ERS to Battersea Power Station could force parts of its owner into administration, after running out of patience over loan repayments.

Creditors including Lloyds Banking Group and Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency have applied to send some arms of the Battersea Power Station Shareholder Vehicle (BPSSV) into administration after the group said it could not meet demands to repay more than £500m in loans.

BPSSV, which is 54 per cent owned by FTSE-listed Real Estate Opportunities, said a court hearing on 12 December will decide its fate.

Real Estate Opportunities bought the site in 2006 for £400m, but has been struggling to reach a deal with its creditors for more than a year. It had searched for a partner to fund the redevelopment.

Battersea Power Station is derelict, having turned off its generators almost 30 years ago. Last year, Real Estate Opportunities won planning permission for a huge residential project centred around the site.

The firm said it remains in talks to sell off its stake in the power station but said in a statement “thereis no certainty that any such transaction will be effected”.

The site has been linked to Chelsea Football Club and Malaysian firm SP Setia, which had a £262m bid rejected last month.

During his Autumn Statement, the chancellor championed the site’s redevelopment as an infrastructure project that could sustain jobs amid the tough economic conditions.

Real Estate Opportunities said its other properties, mostly situated in Ireland, are unaffected and have the continued support of NAMA.