Norton Rose, Trowers win roles on £1.1bn property loans deal

Norton Rose and Trowers & Hamlins both landed roles on real estate services and investment company Kennedy Wilson’s $1.8bn (£1.12bn) purchase of a real estate loan portfolio from Bank of Ireland.

Wolley Dod
Wolley Dod

Norton Rose partner Duncan Hubbard said the deal is “likely to be the largest real estate loan ­portfolio sale of this kind in Europe this year”.

The disposal is part of Bank of Ireland’s deleverage strategy, announced on 14 October, stating that it would get rid of e5bn (£4.35bn) of non-core assets. For New York Stock Exchange-listed Kennedy Wilson, the deal represents a significant investment in the European market.

Trowers advised KW UK Loan Partners, a company established by Kennedy Wilson on its agreement with Bank of Ireland that takes the estimated value of Kennedy Wilson’s assets under management to $12bn.

The purchase, financed entirely by equity, closes in two phases, with $1.4bn of assets closing on 21 October and the remaining $400m expected to close at the end of November. The loans are mostly backed by office, retail and residential buildings in London.

This is the first time that Trowers has advised Kennedy Wilson. The firm picked up the mandate after Bank of Ireland staff, with whom Trowers had worked before, left to join Kennedy Wilson.

The team was led by ­corporate partners Michael Pattinson and Tony Poole, banking and finance ­partners Adrian Carter and Neil Waller, and real estate ­partners Michael Higginson and William Clements.

Norton Rose advised Bank of Ireland, with ­London banking partners Duncan Hubbard and Lucy Wolley Dod leading on the deal. Partner Laurence Garside also advised on derivatives issues within the sale, while David Hawkins, also a partner, advised on the real estate side of the deal.

“To do a deal of this ­magnitude, given current market conditions, is quite an achievement, to say the least,” said Hubbard.

Mayer Brown and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher also had roles advising funders.