Ashurst and RB complete Battersea Power Station sale

Ashurst and Richards Butler have negotiated the £400m sale of London’s iconic Battersea Power Station, transferring control of the derelict landmark from Hong Kong ownership to Irish investors.

The sale is a boon for Ashurst, which is set to score the lucrative and high profile ongoing mandate for the £2bn redevelopment of the 38-acre site, with plans for hotels, residential and retail developments proposed.

Ashurst advised the purchaser, Real Estate Opportunities (REO), an AIM-listed fund backed by Irish millionaire property developers Richard Barrett and John Ronan’s Treasury Holdings.

Treasury is a long-term client of Ashurst, although this is the first work the firm has done for REO. Ashurst also advised on the AIM listing of Treasury’s other investment vehicle, China Real Estate Opportunities (CREO).

Richards Butler advised the seller and long-term client Oriental Property, which is backed by Hong Kong’s Hwang family. The Thames riverfront property was sold through Oriental’s investment vehicle, Parkview International London.

Richards Butler corporate partner David Boutcher led the advice to Oriental, assisted by corporate partner Mike Young, real estate partner Richard Nicoll and banking and finance partner Nola Beirne.

The Richards Butler’s real estate team had been working with Parkview on redevelopment plans since it acquired the freehold for the site in 1996.

Ashurst corporate partner Nigel Stacey and European head of real estate Simon Cookson led the advice to REO. Head of planning and public sector Tony Curnow was also heavily involved.

Cookson said: “It is a very public development and will create public pressure on Treasury to bring their expertise forward. It’s going to be a several-year project.”

The transaction will see REO pay £250m cash, and issue £150m in convertible loan notes to Oriental, giving the company a 37.5 per cent stake in REO.

REO is to part-finance its acquisition with loan from Bank of Scotland. DLA Piper banking partners John Cutler and Helen Dyer advised the bank.

The deal is subject to approval by REO shareholders on 28 December.