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Deal Watch: Nabarro and Ashurst act on sale of LSE HQ as King & Spalding secures repeat European M&A for GSK

Ashurst and Nabarro‘s real estate teams have secured a role on the sale of another landmark London building, while King & Spalding has furthered its transatlantic ambitions by closing a sizeable European M&A pharma deal.

In the £225m sale of 10 Paternoster Square, home of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), Nabarro advised the seller, Tokyo-headquartered Mitsubishi Estate Company (MEC), led by rated real estate partner Deborah Parry.

The 22,854 sqm building, designed by Eric Parry Architects and Sheppard Robson, was completed in 2003 as part of the Japanese developer’s landmark Paternoster Square development.

Ashurst advised the purchaser, Oxford Properties, which is the investment arm of one of Canada ‘s largest pension plans, Onatario Municipal Employees Retirement System, with over $60bn in net assets.

Ashurst was led by real estate partners David Jones and Sarah Sivyour, who in November last year advised Oxford Properties on the acquisition of London’s St. Martin’s Court.

MEC is a longstanding client for Nabarro, which previously acted on the site assembly, development, pre-letting and now the sale of the LSE building. Parry pointed to the transaction as an example of large scale real estate investments being sold to foreign investors, including South Koreans and Canadians.

Parry added that deals of this kind are promising for the UK real estate market, commenting: ‘Long term investors are attentive to development opportunities. Our firm has had a strong run in acquisitions, sales and joint ventures.’

In March, Nabarro advised AXA Real Estate on the £472m purchase of London’s Ropemaker Place on behalf of a consortium.

Elsewhere, King & Spalding represented GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on its €250m acquisition of Okairos, a specialist developer of vaccine platform technologies.

Atlanta partner Jack Capers and London senior associate Marcus Young co-ordinated a cross-border corporate team assisted by London employment law partner Pulina Whitaker. Amstutz Greuter advised on Swiss law matters and Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati on Italian law issues.

The transaction is the second high-profile M&A matter that King & Spalding has closed for GSK in the past year. In June 2012, the same team represented GSK unit Stiefel on the £196m acquisition of Toctino.