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Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) and Stephenson Harwood has taken the lead on the purchase and development of Ampersand, an 80,000 sq ft site on the corner of London’s Oxford Street and Wardour Street.
Stephenson Harwood advised Hong Kong real estate and private equity outfit Peterson Group on the £121m acquisition, its debut investment in the UK property market. Peterson has bought all the shares in the holding vehicle from Resolution Property, which was advised by BLP.
The new development, previously known as the Quadrangle, will contain office and commercial space, with the top two floors devoted to penthouse flats. As well as opening onto Oxford Street, it will feature an entrance on Wardour Street, close to the western ticket office of the new Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station.
Stephenson Harwood real estate head Jonathon Wilkes led on the project. He was assisted by associates Simon Brading, Ashley Davidson and Alexandra Mills in the real estate team, partner Andrew Edge and associate Becky Vernon in corporate, finance partner David Lacey and associate Kate George and construction associate Graeme Barton. Hong Kong-based Greater China managing partner Voon Keat Lai also took a role.
UK and European real estate investor Resolution, the seller, will retain the new penthouses for onward sale once the sale is completed. Real estate partner Chris de Pury led the BLP team advising it, alongside partner Chris Adams and associate Sally Sparrow in his team, partner Adam Bogdanor and associate Tom Hill in corporate, construction partner Nazir Dewji and associate Iain Suttie, partner Laurence Rogers and associate Emma Clarke in finance and tax partner Neville Wright and associate James Graham-Brown.
Background to this deal:
The Peterson Group was founded in 1959 by Peter Pui Kam Yeung with the aim of bringing Chinese embroidery to the European market. Since then, the group has expanded into a global hotel and real estate group, with the Yeungs becoming one of Hong Kong’s richest families.
Despite having a presence in Hong Kong for 35 years, this is the first time that Stephenson Harwood has dealt with the group. It was the Hong Kong office that referred the project to the firm’s London base.
While Peterson has investments in Hong Kong, China and Canada, the Ampersand project is its first property investment in Europe.