On 31 August 2011, the signing of the Belvédère Academia Leiden University transaction took place. As of the start of the academic year, 50,000 alumni of Leiden University will be given the opportunity to purchase a 'Belvédère bond'.
These bonds are backed by rental income derived from several iconic Leiden University properties, being the 'Academiegebouw', 'Sterrewacht' and part of the 'Hortus Botanicus', which Leiden University has transferred to Belvédère. The perpetual bonds bear an annual interest rate of 3%, while an additional tax benefit of 1.2 % is possible due to the Belvédère bonds' status as cultural investments. The Belvédère bonds will be issued on 3 October 2011, being the day on which the relief of Leiden is celebrated.
The Belvédère transaction is the first of its kind in the Netherlands. Due to the tax structure and the regulatory framework of the transaction, it proved to be a challenging project. Among others, Arjan Scheltema, Marian Scheele, Hélène Piet, Farihan Keramati, Tim Grundmeijer and Michaela Ulrici have assisted Rabobank in structuring the transaction, drafting the documentation and various regulatory matters.