International law firm CMS has advised global real estate investment group, QuadReal Property Group (QuadReal), on two major deals: an urban logistics joint venture (JV) with Valor Real Estate Partners (Valor), and an acquisition of a majority interest in a residential and student accommodation portfolio from Realstar Group (Realstar).
The JV with Valor will see QuadReal and Valor investing €1 billion in urban logistics assets located in key UK, French and German cities. Launched during the Covid-19 pandemic, the JV underlines the continued appetite of investors for exposure to the European industrial sector and specifically urban ‘last mile’ logistics, a sector which has benefitted strongly from accelerating e-commerce growth in response to changing consumer behaviour.
QuadReal will be the majority investor in the JV, which will have initial capital commitments of €440 million, which with leverage will provide in excess of €1 billion of investable capital. QuadReal brings its extensive experience in the sector, owning and managing over 75 million square feet of single-and-multi-tenant industrial buildings across Canada. Valor will be responsible for sourcing and managing the portfolio, leveraging its significant experience acquiring, developing in-house and managing infill logistics assets.
QuadReal has invested approximately CA$1 billion in eight of Realstar’s UK assets (seven in London, one in Manchester). Four of the assets form part of Realstar’s UNCLE branded rental housing portfolio, which includes its flagship 45-story tower in the centre of Elephant & Castle, as well as its Stockwell, New Cross and Manchester buildings.
CMS also advised on QuadReal’s acquisition of an ownership stake in Realstar’s UK management business which owns the UK rights to the UNCLE brand.
Amanda Howard, CMS Partner and Head of the Funds and Indirect Real Estate Assets Team, says: “We are delighted to have assisted QuadReal in these two highly strategic but also very different transactions. They are testament to our ability to deliver for clients despite ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and to be able to advise on a wide array of complex transactional aspects related to investment opportunities in the current market and those in the future.”
The CMS team was led by Amanda Howard, and supported by Christopher Luck, Justin Coaley, Will Lawrence, Ellie Mends, Dominic Dickinson, Sorayah Behvand and Molly Greenslade (FIRA); Cheryl Gurnham, Louise Jones, Jennifer D’Emanuele, Chris Robinson and Alex Lane (Real Estate); Martin Evans, William Summerlin and Hetty Tombs (Planning); David Parton, Louise Forbes, Josh Atallah, Anuja Trivedi (Construction); Phil Anderson and Preena Gandhi (Tax); Rob Whiddett (Finance); Richard Brown and Felicity Bramall (Employment); Louise Gellman and Melanie Worsdall (IP); and Russell Hoare (Competition).