GLOBAL - Pricoa Mortgage Capital has completed its first commercial real estate loan, six months after first entering the market.

Pricoa, the mortgage lending business of US insurer Prudential, said it had closed a £70m (€87.5m) loan secured against a portfolio of properties held by the O&H Group in the UK.

The buildings are several office units located in central London, as well as a retail property in Bath.

Thor Orndahl, managing director at Pricoa, said the company had looked to move into markets outside the US as the diversification was "valuable". 

"The current market dislocation has provided the opening we have been looking for, and our plan is to be active in Europe for many years to come," he added.

The lender said it would target £325m of senior debt loans over the course of the year, although it said it had the ability to write "significantly more".

Drew Abernethy, head of European origination advice, added: "Pricoa is very pleased to have closed this first transaction so soon after introducing its European programme."

O&H Group is privately owned, managing around £600m of assets across a development and core property portfolio.

There have been several other recent new entrants into the European senior loans market, with Legal & General recently providing a £121m, 10-year loan to Unite Group, a student housing firm.

Prudential's asset management arm M&G meanwhile is set to provide £266m in senior debt to Round Hill Capital to support its acquisition of a portfolio owned by Blackstone.