LG, Norton Rose, W&C advise on investment group Seref’s £230m IPO

Lawrence Graham (LG), Norton Rose and White & Case all advised on Starwood European Real Estate Finance’s (Seref) £228.5m IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

Seref, a Guernsey-domiciled closed-end company, was established by US private equity group Starwood Capital to invest in European property debt.

Shares in the company began trading on 17 December and, according to Norton Rose, Seref was the largest investment company IPO of 2012.

Dexion Capital and Jefferies International acted for Starwood as joint sponsors, bookrunners and financial advisers.

Seref was quick to action, announcing its first investment along with Starwood Property Trust, in Maybourne Hotel Group, on 27 December.

Norton Rose advised Starwood using teams out of London and Toronto. Corporate partner Richard Sheen led the team in London, with partners Tom Vita and John Challoner giving US securities and tax advice, respectively. Toronto partner Mark Convery advised Starwood on Canadian securities law issues.

LG, led by London corporate partner John Reed, advised Jefferies and Dexion on English-law issues, while New York-based White & Case partner Colin Diamond advised on US matters.

Background to this deal:

Starwood is a new client for Norton Rose, with Sheen acting as relationship partner. The firm was introduced to the client by Dexion around September 2012.

LG won its role on the deal after pitching against several other firms, but it has been acting for Dexion since the summer of 2011. Its relationship with Dexion stems from a longer term relationship with stockbrokers Singer Capital Markets, which teamed up with Dexion to work on a deal in August 2011.