Herbies and Hogan Lovells lead on BlackRock-Deutsche property fund merger

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Hogan Lovells have taken the lead roles as global asset manager BlackRock merges its UK property fund with Deutsche Bank’s real estate fund group RREEF to form what the parties describe as the UK’s largest property unit trust.

Under the terms of the deal, which closed at the end of last week, BlackRock UK Property Fund will acquire 27 new real estate investments with a collective value in excess of £335m, which will see the fund’s overall value increase by £300m to £2.4bn.

Hogan Lovells acted as lead adviser to BlackRock, with a team led by London investment funds partners James McDonald and Nicholas Holman and senior associate Sian Owles. Real estate partner John Condliffe and tax partner Kevin Ashman provided additional advice.

A team from offshore firm Mourant Ozannes also advised BlackRock, led by Jersey managing partner Daniel Birtwistle.

HSF acted as lead adviser to Deutsche’s RREEF. London investment funds partner Tim West and City corporate head Scott Cochrane advised the fund on corporate matters related to deal, with London tax partner Neil Warriner advising on real estate tax matters.

Mourant Ozannes also fielded a team to advise RREEF, with Jersey-based investment funds partner Joel Hernandez leading. CMS Cameron McKenna and Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) were also drafted in to advise the fund group on property issues related to the merger.

Real estate partner Adrian Wright led the team from CMS which included lawyers from the firm’s real estate, finance, construction and tax departments.

FFW real estate partners Denise Sexton and Paul Houston advised RREEF.

Irish firm Dillon Eustace is also understood to have taken a role advising RREEF on several aspects of the transaction.

Background to this deal:

Hogan Lovells’ role is not thought to be a first-time appointment from BlackRock.

HSF, meanwhile, has acted for RREEF previously. In 2010 a combined Madrid-London team steered the fund group through its acquisition of a majority stake in Autovía del Camino, a Spanish motorway concessionaire in the north of Spain.

FFW has acted for RREEF since 2001.

CMS and FFW were two of the firms appointed to RREEF’s inaugural legal roster in 2007 (15 October 2007).