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Kirkland wins first mandate from Singapore’s GIC in biggest European real estate deal of the year

Kirkland & Ellis has advised opposite Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in the largest European real estate transaction of the year as Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC picked up P3 from TPG Real Estate for $2.7bn.

GIC signed a deal to acquire P3 from TPG Real Estate and its shareholder Ivanhoe Cambridge last week (4 November) in a deal which spans across nine jurisdictions. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of 2016.

Acting for the wealth fund for the first time, Kirkland advised GIC with a team including London corporate partners Matthew Elliott and Celyn Evans, debt finance partner Michael Steele, competition partner Paula Riedel and tax partners Jonathan Kandel and Frixos Hatjantonas.

Freshfields acted for TPG Real Estate with a team led by co-head of the firm’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Group Alex Watt, corporate partner Patrick Ko and finance partner David Trott.

Elliott (pictured) said: ‘The transaction is representative of the recognition by the market of the demand and value for Pan European logistics and warehouse space. Opportunities of scale are in limited supply which plays into the hands of those investors whose strategic focus lies in growing sector coverage.’

Freshfields previously advised GIC on its acquisition of a 28.5% stake in UK pension insurer Rothesay Life from Goldman Sachs in October 2013, and again when the wealth fund acquired half of Carlyle’s majority stake in roadside recovery service RAC in September 2014.

Trott said: ‘Real estate is an interesting space, it’s interesting sovereign wealth continues to take strategic investments looking for long term quality assets. This is a further signal that Singaporean wealth funds are strong and only going to continue. The deal shows health for real estate, no shortage of opportunities and buyers, as Europe and the UK are cheap.’

The transaction comes as real estate, equity capital markets and M&A practices are expected to slow down significantly in the year ahead in the light of Brexit, according to NatWest’s latest Perspective on Legal Market report out today (8 November).