Olswang seals Midlands property deal

Olswang has acted for longstanding client REIT Asset Management on its $814m (£400m) acquisition of a property portfolio from Evans Property Group.

Real estate partner Simon Kanter, who led the deal together with corporate partner Michele Michaelson, said REIT came up against considerable obstacles in its efforts to close what was its biggest deal yet in financial terms amid the credit crunch.

“Most banks were content to sit on their hands at a time that REIT was seeking to borrow,” said Kanter.

“I’m not really quite sure how we managed to pull it off, but the banking team worked very long and hard, digging its heels in when necessary.”

The complexity of the deal meant that some of the initial terms were tightened and over 40 lawyers were involved from across a range of practice groups, including finance and tax.

Olswang’s relationship with REIT Asset Management was established last year when the company absorbed property boutique Kanter Jules, which had been a client (www.thelawyer.com, 11 September 2006).

Evans is reported to be using the sale of the 29 industrial and warehouse buildings and developable land in the Midlands and Northeast to grow its serviced office sector. It was advised on the deal by an Allen & Overy team headed by partner Robert Porter.