CC, Maples and McGrigors act on property portfolio sale

Clifford Chance, Maples Teesdale and McGrigors have advised on the disposal of a distressed property portfolio to Legal & General (L&G) Property.

Clifford Chance partner Catherine Cook advised the vendor, a consortium including Lloyds Banking Group and West Coast Capital, on the sale of a mixture of retail warehousing, department stores, food stores, a leisure park and development sites to a fund owned by the institutional property investor.

Maples Teesdale partners Neil Sagoo and Katherine Watts assisted the L&G-managed fund on the purchase of the sites for a sum in the region of £150m.

The mandate came as a result of an ongoing relationship with the client, and the property boutique worked closely with L&G Property in-house lawyer Katherine Laurenson. The transaction took around three months to complete.

McGrigors advised L&G on the Scottish aspects of the deal, with partner Alan Cook leading. In particular, the firm advised on matters relating to the acquisition of a site in Faraday Retail Park, Coatbridge, which is let to Tesco.

The most valuable asset in the group is Fountains Retail Park in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. This is a pre-let scheme due for completion in 2011 that includes Marks & Spencer as an anchor ­tenant.

The deal comes after Sagoo acted as part of a firmwide team advising longstanding client UK Commercial Property Trust, which is managed by Ignis Asset Management, on the acquisition of a string of shopping centres that were put on the market after the original owner went into negative equity.