FRANCE - Creditors of Paris office complex Coeur Défense may appeal a court ruling which forced them to extend a securitised €1.5bn loan to the property's joint owners, one of which is a General Electric pension fund.

The skyscraper's owners - Lehman Brothers' receivers (PricewaterhouseCoopers), French property company Atemi and the pension fund - were awarded a five-year extension on the commercial mortgage-backed securities loan secured against the building last month.
Lehman Brothers and French property company Atemi purchased the skyscraper at the top of the market in March 2007 for €2.1bn.

The value of Coeur Defense has almost halved since then and the borrowers have been in formal default since February 2009, according to a report by Fitch Ratings.

The CMBS bondholders BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, AXA and Dexia have complained that the ruling could deter other lenders from making direct loans or buying asset-backed securities in France.