SJ Berwin leads sale of two Debenhams stores

SJ Berwin has advised long-standing client British Land on the sale of two Debenhams stores for a total of £22m.

The firm was involved in the initial acquisition of the stores, located in Luton and Winchester, in 2005. When this recent transaction came to market the firm was “pretty automatically instructed”, said real estate associate Jason Tann.

The Luton store was sold to the Mall for £10.75m in a deal that closed in seven weeks. Tann said this was a realistic timetable given the current economic climate. He was assisted by associate Louise Tainton on the transaction.

The Winchester store was sold to Deramore Holdings for £11.25m and closed in two weeks, as Deramore wanted to exchange before the end of 2007 for accounting reasons. Associate Jo Taylor provided assistance on that deal.

The team also had input from the tax team, led by associate Giles Bavister.

SJ Berwin recently advised a British Land subsidiary on the exchange and sale of Clifton Moor Industrial Estate to UBS Wealth Management for £33m (The Lawyer, 14 January).

Olswang head of real estate Tim Westhead, assisted by associate Melissa Jeffries, advised the Mall, while commercial property associate John England at Mishcon de Reya advised Deramore.