Eversheds digs in on L&G student property deal

Eversheds has acted for Legal & General Property (L&G Property) on its £116m purchase of ­Battersea-based student accommodation Griffon Studios from Berkeley First and Imperial College London, which were advised by Ashurst.

The acquisition is indicative of L&G Property’s thirst for long-term investments that are immune from troughs in the real estate market. Eversheds also advised the fund when it stumped up £50m to finance the hotel and conference ­element of the Football Association’s national football centre in Burton-on-Trent, as well as on the purchase of two Tesco stores portfolios totalling £150m last year.

The Battersea development includes 452 postgraduate flats, to be completed in October, with the remaining 114 flats scheduled to be finished by October 2012, and a gym, a laundry and gardens.

Partners Steve Manson, Bruce Dear and Steven Smith led on the deal.

Following the purchase from Berkeley First and Imperial, L&G Property will let the studios to Imperial on a 45-year annual RPI-linked lease. Once the lease has expired the property will revert to the university.

Ashurst, led by real estate partner Gerald Kelly, advised Berkeley First and long-time client Imperial as sellers.

Eversheds has been on L&G Property parent company Legal & General’s ­advisory panel since 2004.