Hogan Lovells Advises HOOPP on Fourth European Transaction in Four Years

LONDON, 07 November 2013 - Hogan Lovells has advised Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) on a joint venture with Verdion Properties LLP (Verdion) to establish a logistics platform across Europe. The €1 billion five year development programme to source build to suit projects for logistics operators throughout Europe, focusing on Germany and Scandinavia, includes the acquisition and development of:

  • a six million square feet scheme in Rossington, Doncaster, served by a motorway spur and i-port rail freight interchange, with a developed value of £400 million;
  • developments in Hamburg and Leipzig with Netrada and Siemens respectively; and
  • the acquisition of a 10% stake in the LINK development portfolio in Germany.

Commenting on the joint venture, Hogan Lovells Chair and HOOPP relationship partner Nicholas Cheffings said:

"We are pleased to have advised HOOPP on another successful joint venture which shows the continued appetite for non-European Funds to invest in development opportunities in Europe.

"This is our fourth major transaction in four years for HOOPP, one of the largest and most respected pension funds in Canada, combining our funds, tax and construction capabilities, as well as traditional commercial real estate expertise".

The Hogan Lovells team advising HOOPP was led by Nicholas Cheffings and London real estate partner Dion Panambalana, with partners James McDonald and Philip Gershuny advising on structuring and tax matters. They were supported by planning partner Claire Dutch and senior associates Amelia Stawpert (funds) and Aaron Burchell (tax); real estate senior associates Kate Turnbull, Gerard Tomnay and Simon Keen; and construction partner Gillian Thomas and Of Council Rosemary Miller.

Hogan Lovells has previously advised HOOPP on a joint venture/ limited partnership with The Crown Estate to redevelop the key island "Gateway" site in London's West End in December 2010; on a €340 million joint venture with U.S. fund Manager Meyer Bergman to develop two shopping centres in the Czech Republic in September 2011; and on its major stake in a joint venture, led by Meyer Bergman, to acquire the planned new Westfield Bradford shopping centre in November 2012.

Verdion was advised by Acuity Legal - a niche legal practice which focuses on corporate and real estate projects and transactions.

Acuity Legal is the long standing legal adviser to Verdion and the Acuity team was led by partner Steve Berry with support from senior associate Sophia Laver and associate Phil Pugh.

Steve Berry commented:

 “Our aim at Acuity Legal is to provide entrepreneurial clients, such as Verdion, with a proactive and commercial legal service. We have advised Verdion since the establishment of its business and are delighted that this has led to a joint venture with HOOPP.

This deal gives a fantastic platform for an innovative approach to the development and funding of logistics projects throughout Europe by HOOPP and Verdion, and one that we are sure will go from strength to strength.”

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