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‘A landmark for the industry’: BLP and Nabarro advise CBRE on £1.4bn flagship property fund merger

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) and Nabarro acted opposite Eversheds and Mayer Brown on CBRE Global Investors’ merger of its UK Property Fund with the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme (ESPS), creating a £1.4bn property fund called the CBRE UK Property PAIF.

CBRE has been the investment manager of ESPS’s UK property portfolio since 2006, and said the merger was part of the increasing trend of investors looking for ‘scale and simplicity’.

BLP and Nabarro advised CBRE, while Eversheds and Mayer Brown acted for ESPS. BLP’s team was led by investment management partner Kate Binedell, alongside corporate tax partner Paul Shaw and investment management partner Matthew Baker advising on financial services regulation. Nabarro’s team was led by real estate partners James Madden and Chris Chambers.

On the ESPS side, Mayer Brown’s team was led by head of London pensions practice Philippa James and corporate & securities partner Tim Nosworthy, while Eversheds’ side was led by head of London real estate Bruce Dear and real estate partner Clare Whitaker.

CBRE’s UK general counsel Manu Chopra said: ‘This merger establishes the PAIF as one of the major players in the UK market. The cross-practice team at BLP worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome and their creative and commercial approach was instrumental in helping us get this important deal over the line.’

Binedell added: ‘This is a strategically important fund to CBRE Global Investors and a significant landmark for the industry. This simplified and flexible fund structure will allow CBRE Global Investors to grow its investor base and reap long term benefits.’

Recent deals BLP has acted on for CBRE include its acquisition of the Glacis-Galerie shopping centre in Neu-Ulm, Germany, in October 2015 and its purchase of Rahlstedt Center in Hamburg, Germany earlier this year.

Nabarro has also advised CBRE in the past, acting as it signed a 15-year lease, when the property company moved to the West End in 2011.