A raft of firms including Maclay Murray & Spens, Norton Rose, Taylor Wessing and Tods Murray scooped roles as property fund Picton Property Income secured £209m from Aviva and Canada Life to refinance one of its portfolios.
UK commercial property fund Picton secured a £114m, 15-year-term loan facility from Canada Life and a 20-year loan for up to £95m from Aviva. Picton will use the cash to repay bondholders in the Picton UK-listed Real Estate Issuer CMBS and a facility with the Royal Bank of Scotland, both of which mature in January 2013.
Maclay Murray & Spens advised Aviva, with banking partner Chris Dun leading on the deal.
Norton Rose, led by real estate finance head Lucy Wolley Dod, advised Picton, an established client of the firm. Real estate head Lindsay Morgan also advised on the deal. Consultant John Challoner and partner Mark Lloyd Williams also dealt with tax and corporate issues respectively.
Taylor Wessing advised Canada Life. Finance head Rodney Dukes managed the deal with real estate partner Christopher Turley and tax partner Robert Young also advising. Bedell Cristin also acted for Canada Life in Guernsey, while Tods Murray acted for the insurer on Scottish law.
Background to this deal:
Amid the dearth of bank lending, Taylor Wessing has been kept busy in real estate finance by Canada Life, one of the most active insurer-lenders in the market. In July, the insurer picked Taylor Wessing to advise on its £80m, ten-year term loan to The Great Victoria Partnership to repay its outstanding loan to bondholders (26 July 2012).
Canada Life is a long-time client of Taylor Wessing, going back to legacy firm Parker Garrett in the 1980s. Dukes is the firm’s relationship partner with Canada Life on the banking side, while Turley looks after the real estate side of the relationship. Taylor Wessing also advises another insurer, MetLife.
Maclay Murray & Spens’ relationship with Aviva also runds deep. Property partner Gordon Aitken manages Maclays’ relationship with Aviva overall, but Dun looks after Aviva’s commercial finance arm and has acted for the company for the past 20 years.