Camerons, SJB score on Gherkin sale

CMS Cameron McKenna and SJ Berwin have teamed up to secure the £630m purchase of London’s iconic Gherkin building in the UK’s largest single building property transaction to date.

Camerons advised German company IVG Immobilien on its 50-50 joint venture with British private investment bank Evans Randall. The bank took its advice from SJ Berwin, led by funds partner David Ryland, to purchase the building officially known as 30 St Mary Axe.

Camerons head of real estate Edward Benzecry led the advice to IVG, a client of three years. The Camerons team included corporate partners Barney Hearnden and Bill Carr, banking partner Simon Johnston and construction partner Victoria Peckett.

Benzecry said: “IVG have been a client ever since we acted for Lloyds across from them on Lloyds TSB’s purchase of its headquarters at 25 Gresham St.

“This is biggest transaction we’ve done for them. IVG secured the building at the end of November and Evans Randall joined the party later on. We’ve been working very hard on this project.”

The building was sold by insurance firm Swiss Re, which is also headquartered in the building. Linklaters, led by real estate partner Julian Innes-Taylor had been instructed by Swiss Re to handle the sale.
Tenants of the building include US firms Hunton & Williams, Kirkland & Ellis and Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw.

Camerons worked closely with German firm Roedl throughout the transaction on tax issues, with IVG intending to list most of its share assets with private investors through a fund in the IVG EuroSelect series. The listing work will be primarily done by Roedl, with input from the Camerons team on English law issues.

SJ Berwin can expect further work from the sale, too, with Evans Randall expected to offer its share of the joint venture to institutional investors. Both IVG and Evans Randall expect to maintain a 10 per cent share each.