Lovells hangs on to Terra Firma with landmark securitisation

Lovells has maintained its relationship with private equity house Terra Firma to advise on a landmark securitisation, even though the firm lost the original partner on the deal to Clifford Chance.

A Lovells team consisting of London and German lawyers acted for Terra Firma on a E5.4bn (£3.69bn) commercial mortgage-backed securitisation (CMBS), the biggest deal of its kind in Europe.

The mortgage-backed bond follows Terra Firma’s acquisition through property portfolio company Deutsche Annington of 150,000 flats from Viterra for E7bn (£4.79bn), which at the time was Germany’s largest-ever private equity deal. German private equity partner Oliver Felsenstein led the team that advised Terra Firma. However, he shocked the legal market last Autumn when he and a team of four associates moved to Clifford Chance.

Lovells’ private equity capabilities suffered another blow when London partner Marco Compagnoni moved to Weil Gotshal & Manges in February. As first reported by The Lawyer (17 July), Lovells was dropped as a longstanding adviser to HgCapital.

Head of finance David Hudd is leading the Lovells team acting on the CMBS, which includes leveraged finance partner Mark Donald and Munich-based tax partner Stephan Geibel.

The notes will be issued by German Residential Asset Note Distributor (Grand) and proceeds from the sale will be used to refinance debt from the Viterra deal.

Although Felsenstein missed out on the Terra Firma mandate, Clifford Chance has secured itself a role acting for lead arrangers Barclays Capital and Citigroup. London securitisation partner Stephen Curtis is heading the Clifford Chance team.

Luxembourg firm Oostvogels Pfister Roemers also represented Terra Firma on the deal.