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CMS advises on £300m fundraisings for listed investment funds


International law firm CMS is advising on over £300m of fundraisings for listed investment funds Aquila European Renewables Income Fund plc (AERIF) and Supermarket Income REIT plc (SUPR).  

CMS is advising AERIF, the London-listed fund advised by Aquila Capital Investmentgesellschaft mbH, on a placing programme and offer for subscription to enable the company to continue to acquire renewable energy infrastructure investments. AERIF is targeting a fundraising of approximately €150m, with the ability to increase to €200m, which will allow it to continue to diversify its current portfolio of renewable energy assets, including five onshore wind parks in the Nordic region and 21 hydro power plants in Portugal.

The CMS team advising AERIF is led by Corporate partner Kristy Duane and supported by Jennifer Gray, Brett Mendonca, Harry Cross, Harriet Baylis and Hannah Forsyth (all Corporate).

Commenting on the transaction, Kristy Duane said: “We are pleased to be assisting our long-standing client AERIF on another significant placing this year. Prior to the UK’s lockdown, we advised AERIF on a €40m placing which was upsized. Despite recent challenging times, we continue to support our clients in bolstering their finances through the equity markets, where investors continue to demonstrate their interest in UK-listed companies.”

CMS is also advising Stifel Nicolaus Europe as sponsor and placing agent on a £150m placing programme and offer for subscription for SUPR, which invests in properties let to supermarkets. The raising will allow SUPR to take advantage of opportunities that have become available since the onset of coronavirus restrictions, including almost £400m worth of omnichannel sites that meet its criteria of size and online fulfilment potential.

The CMS team advising Stifel is led by partner and Co-Head of Corporate Iain Newman and supported by Jennifer Gray, David Rivera, Harry Hall and Harriet Baylis (all Corporate). 

Advising on the Stifel transaction, Iain Newman comments: “We are delighted to support Stifel on another high-profile deal. This is the second transaction with SUPR on which we have advised Stifel this year, following a £140m equity raising in April. In spite of the market challenges we have experienced in 2020, we continue to see strong capital markets activity. We have successfully acted on a number of similar transactions and are well placed to advise and support our clients on investments of this nature.”

Since the commencement of UK lockdown measures in March 2020, the CMS Corporate team has advised on over 10 successful secondary fundraisings, demonstrating the strength of the firm’s client base. CMS was also ranked joint most active legal adviser on ECM transactions in Q1 2020 according to ECM Insight’s Q1 2020 Report.