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Cross-border deal sees real estate experts advise QIC on A$795 million sale of UK shopping centre interest

12 July 2016 | Australia, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
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Herbert Smith Freehills has acted as international counsel for the QIC International Property Fund and its direct and indirect subsidiaries (QIC) on the A$795 million sale of QIC’s 50% interest in UK shopping centre, intu Merry Hill.

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

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Brisbane property team worked on the transaction both in Australia and the UK. They were led by partner Kerry Heilbronn, who was supported by consultant David Stitt and senior associate Alanna Bolger.

“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,” Mr Heilbronn said.

Settled on June 22, 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.

Hogan Lovells acted as UK local counsel and also assisted in the negotiations, having being involved on the initial acquisition of QIC’s interest in 2006.

The deal is yet another example of the significant work of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Real Estate team. It follows the team’s recent work advising Growthpoint Properties Australia Limited on a A$166 million acquisition of an office building in South Melbourne and advising S P Setia on a A$101 million acquisition of a Telstra Exchange site in Melbourne’s CBD.

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