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Published 15 September 2017
International law firm DAC Beachcroft LLP has advised key client The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Ltd, the UK's largest mutual life insurance company, on its acquisition of Hermes’ stake in Bluewater Shopping Centre in a deal worth in excess of £150m.
The deal, which exchanged on 11 September, sees Royal London take on a 7.5% interest in the 1.8m sq ft centre, which attracts around 27m visitors per year since first opening its doors in 1999.
Bluewater Shopping Centre now houses more than 330 retailers, bars and restaurants, many of them household names. Other stakeholders include Land Securities Group, also a client of the firm, as well as M&G Real Estate, GIC, the Lend Lease Retail Partnership and Aberdeen Asset Management.
This is also the latest instruction for DAC Beachcroft from Royal London, having been re-appointed to its legal panel in 2017. The firm fielded a multi-disciplinary team on the deal, drawn from its offices in London, Manchester and Newcastle and led by Real Estate Partner, James Ross.
James was supported by colleagues from Real Estate (Vicky Banks, Greg Batchelor, Rory Bennett, Ruth Cockram, Reghbinder Deol, Richard Hartis, Jeanette Jeffrey, Nicholas Marshall, John Noonan, Morgan Raines and David Roberts), Tax (John Dunlop and Matthew Spencer), as well as Head of Planning, Christopher Stanwell, and DAC Beachcroft's Royal London Relationship Partner, Helen Murcott.
Commenting on the deal, Helen said: "We are delighted to have assisted Royal London on its acquisition of a stake in Bluewater, one of the UK's most well-known retail and leisure destinations. Our mandate for Royal London focuses on its retail portfolio and this transaction plays to the strengths of our established retail and shopping centre asset management teams."
James Ross added: "Being able to field an experienced team from across our offices enabled us to handle this complex transaction for a key client smoothly and effectively."
DAC Beachcroft's national shopping centre asset management practice is the market leader and currently has 13.8m sq ft of retail space under management, including four of the largest centres in the UK.