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Nabarro Nathanson has won a new name to add to its US investor client base. It advised WP Carey & Co on the financing of a £16m, 13-acre site acquisition through a 30-year sale and leaseback agreement.
The deal may be relatively small-fry, but as a large New York-listed public company, WP Carey is further validation of the firm's strategy for targeting US clients.
The relationship was developed over the last 18 months by outgoing property partner Geoffrey Lander, Kevin Stimpson and Amanda Howard, who approached WP Carey jointly. Lander, who has left to run his own property outsourcing company, took a lead role in growing the firm's US contacts.
Other US clients include GE Capital, for which Stimpson is relationship partner, Apollo, Peabody and Westbrook.
WP Carey has now completed a handful of deals in the UK, with Linklaters numbering among its other chosen counsel on this side of the Atlantic.
Stimpson led the Nabarros team on the £16m acquisition, teaming up with WP Carey's US counsel Reed Smith Warner Cranston. The site, at Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction, was acquired from storage, distribution and construction company Insulated Structures (ISL). WP Carey is to finance the construction of a storage, distribution and industrial facility on the site for ISL, to be run by new joint venture company Aston Distribution Centre.
Sale and leaseback financing is the core of WP Carey's business. Stimpson said the company looks for safe, long-term investments rather than the quick returns sought by US opportunity funds. "WP Carey's looking 20 or 30 years ahead," he said.
Nabarros is already acting on a number of other matters for WP Carey.
Stimpson added: "We certainly won't be the only firm they use. We're building a client relationship with them. We've been taking the time to get to know their business."
Burges Salmon advised Bristol & West, which provided the senior debt. Grimsby firm Grange Wintringham advised ISL.