Firm counsels on $795m UK shopping centre stake sale

International law firm has advised on the major sale of a QIC International Property Fund interest.

Herbert Smith Freehills acted as QIC International Property Fund’s international counsel on the $795 million sale of QIC’s 50 per cent interest in UK shopping centre, intu Merry Hill.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Brisbane property team – which was led by partner Kerry Heilbronn and supported by consultant David Stitt and senior associate Alanna Bolger – worked on the transaction both in Australia and the UK which was settled on June 22.

Hogan Lovells, which was involved in the initial acquisition of QIC’s interest in 2006, participated in the negotiations and acted as QIC’s local counsel in the UK.

“This was a complex transaction involving negotiations across four jurisdictions - England, Ireland, Jersey and Australia. We successfully co-ordinated all aspects of the disposal including vendor due diligence and operation of the online data room, negotiation of the transaction documents and co-ordination of other advisers and officers,” Heilbronn said.

The transaction involved the sale of QIC’s units in seven Jersey unit trusts, the shares in the UK incorporated General Partners of seven limited partnerships and 100% of the shares in a separate UK parking structure. Inter-company debt was also discharged as part of the transaction.

The Herbert Smith Freehills Real Estate team most recently advised Growthpoint Properties Australia Limited on a $166 million acquisition of an office building in South Melbourne and S P Setia on a $101 million acquisition of a Telstra Exchange site in Melbourne’s CBD.

The intu Merry Hill Shopping Centre spans 229 acres and approximately 1.3 million square feet of retail space near Birmingham in the West Midlands.

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