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Reed Smith and BLP lead on £430m business park buy up

Reed Smith and Berwin Leighton Paisner have led on a £430m purchase of three UK business parks by asset management groups Oaktree Capital Management and Patrizia.

Partners Oliver s’Jacob and Graham Reid, who sit within Reed Smith’s real estate private equity and real estate groups respectively, were instructed by the US and German asset managers in their joint venture acquisition of industrial-based business parks in Basingstoke, Cheshire and Glasgow from the UK’s Hermes Real Estate. Chineham Park in Basingstoke is home to the likes of defence giant Cobham and US electronics group Honeywell, while Birchwood Park in Warrington and Hillington Park in Glasgow are home to more than 450 businesses combined.

Hermes was advised by Berwin Leighton Paisner’s commercial real estate partner Samant Narula and corporate finance partner Simon Pollock. For Scottish law advice BLP enlisted support from property partner Gillian Downie of Maclay Murray & Spens, while Reed Smith used a team from Brodies, led by head of property Nick Scott.

For Hermes, one of the largest real estate managers in the UK, registered in Jersey, offshore advice was provided by finance and corporate partner James Hill of Mourant Ozannes, while Carey Olsen’s James Mulholland acted for the purchaser.

Oaktree Capital Management and Patrizia have become repeat clients for Reed Smith, with the firm having advised the parties on their £245m acquisition of IQ Winnersh, an industrial park near Reading, from listed investment trust SEGRO. The latest deal is the third major mandate Reed Smith’s real estate private equity team has signed or closed this month, having advised Marathon Asset Management on its £130m acquisition of 11 former Queens Moat House Hotels and MStar Europe, a £500m joint venture, on its public takeover bid for London Stock Exchange-listed, Tamar European Industrial Fund for £53.55m.

Oliver s’Jacob, partner and head of Reed Smith’s real estate private equity practice, said: ‘This is one of the most anticipated real estate deals of the summer. Following our ongoing work for Patrizia and Oaktree Capital Management, our cross-practice team was able to mobilise a team of over 60 lawyers at short notice to exchange contracts on this significant acquisition within a three week deadline.’