Simmons advises underwriters in Unite Group fundraising

The company sought to raise the cash via a placement and open offer earlier this month.

The firm has advised underwriters on five secondary offerings in the real estate sector during 2009. Simmons picked up the instruction on the Unite deal after advising JPMorgan Cazenove as underwriters on a series of fundraisings.

The team was led by corporate partner Chris Horton, who was supported by associates Ian Wood and Rachel Lewis on the UK side. US securities partner Daniel Winterfeldt, supported by US assistant Michael Burdei, led on US matters.

Winterfeldt commented: “In the past we’ve seen the blanket exclusion of US shareholders in rights issues or open offers because of concerns about potential liability.

“Their involvement in the open offer shows an emerging trend to include US institutional shareholders under certain circumstances via private placements by the issuer as concerns around liabilities are balanced with concerns for fairness to investors.

“From an equity capital markets practice point of view we’ve grown from doing limited work for underwriters two years ago to a series of instructions in this area.”

Unite was advised by Osborne Clarke corporate associate Mark Wesker on UK matters and Morrison & Foerster corporate finance partner Kristian Wiggert and associate Stephanie Wingader on US aspects.