Linklaters handed role on Sainsbury’s CMBS

Linklaters has secured the lead advisory role for longstanding client J Sainsbury on its £2.07bn commercial mortgage-backed securitisation (CMBS).

The proceeds of the securitisation have been used by Sainsbury’s to refinance £1.7bn worth of unsecured bonds and to make a £350m contribution to the company’s pension fund.

The CMBS has been split into two transactions. The first has been backed by 75 properties with a market value of £2bn and the second by 52 supermarkets, valued at almost £1.55bn.

Linklaters structured finance partner James Harbach led the team on the deal, along with tax partner Charles Hellier and property partner Mark Burgess-Smith.

“The deal was structured so that in certain circumstances Sainsbury’s can swap properties in the secured portfolio and it has the flexibility to let the properties to other parties,” Harbach said.

Addleshaw Goddard property partner Lucy Sturrock and Denton Wilde Sapte property partner Andrew Bedford also acted for Sainsbury’s on property due diligence.

Sainsbury’s property law manager Katherine Kinch ran property elements of the transaction and also coordinated the solicitors involved.

Clifford Chance advised the joint arrangers Morgan Stanley and UBS.