Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised a joint venture of institutional investors on the £296 million acquisition of the Olympia London Exhibition Centre from listed London property company Capital & Counties Properties PLC (“Capco”).
The joint venture is led and advised by Deutsche Finance International (“DFI”), a global investment firm and part of the Deutsche Finance Group, and Yoo Capital (“YC”), a UK-focused institutional investor, developer and asset manager. The joint venture includes Bayerische Versorgungskammer (“BVK” Germany’s largest manager of public pension schemes investing through a fund administrated by Universal-Investment), the Versicherungskammer Bayern Group (“VKB” Germany´s largest public insurer), DFI European Value Add Fund (“DFI Fund”) and YC, as UK co-investor and asset manager. The acquisition was financed by Legal & General which provided £151 million of financing.
Olympia London is a 130 year-old exhibition and events business, which is situated on a prime 14 acre freehold site in West London. Each year Olympia welcomes more than 1.6 million visitors and hosts over 200 events utilising its seven connected and flexible spaces. The exhibition and events businesses benefit from a strong competitive advantage due to its iconic building, central London location and leading management team. The acquisition also involves 3.9 acres of freehold land available for hospitality, leisure and residential development.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by partner Mark Lloyd Williams and included Fiona Millington, Keith Law and Daniel Jarman, German regulatory advice was given by Martin Krause and Ralf Koschmieder, the acquisition finance team was led by Sarah Cullen and Alex Schaafsma, the real estate team was led by Lindsay Morgan and Thomas Taylor and the pensions team was led by Lesley Browning and Julia Ward.
Gavin Neilan, Co-Managing Partner of Deutsche Finance International, commented: “We are delighted to have completed the Olympia London transaction. We see tremendous long term potential to grow Olympia’s status as a world-class exhibition and events venue and to enhance the customer experience through expansion of the retail, leisure and hotel offerings. We would like to acknowledge and thank Norton Rose Fulbright for its outstanding cross border multi-disciplinary support during the course of this acquisition.”
Mark Lloyd Williams commented: “We are delighted to have advised the Deutsche Finance/Yoo-led consortium on a transaction involving one of London’s most iconic businesses. Deutsche Finance and Yoo Capital and their consortium of leading German pension and life insurance institutional funds beat off stiff competition to land this headline grabbing deal and we are pleased to have supported them. The transaction showcases Norton Rose Fulbright’s ability to combine a leading UK multi-disciplinary real estate sector team supported with first in class German regulatory expertise which enables us to executed complicated real estate transactions for German pension and life funds.”
To date in 2017, the Norton Rose Fulbright real estate corporate finance team has advised on nearly £1 billion of corporate finance transactions in the UK real estate sector, including purchases and sales of offices to Hong Kong and Chinese investors as well as PRS, residential, acquisitions and equity capital markets transactions.
The wider Norton Rose Fulbright corporate, M&A and securities team has had an active first quarter, including advising JP Morgan Asset Management on its acquisition of the onshore wind assets of Infinis Group from Terra Firma and acting for Canaccord Genuity as sole placing agent on its £260 million share issue for HICL Infrastructure Company Limited.
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