Macfarlanes and Nabarro advise on £1.7bn More London deal

Kuwaiti property company St Martins has bought the More London estate from London Bridge Holdings for an estimated £1.7bn, marking one of the UK’s largest-ever commercial property deals.

The 13-acre real estate portfolio includes a number of landmark buildings around the London Bridge area, including City Hall. Other tenants include Ernst & Young, Norton Rose Fulbright, private equity firm Terra Firma and Lawrence Graham.

St Martins is a UK-based real estate investment vehicle of the State of Kuwait. It already owns a number of key properties in the capital, including the nearby Hays Galleria, as well as The Willis Building, and 5 Canada Square in Canary Wharf.

A team from Macfarlanes was instructed by London Bridge Holdings, and led by head of commercial real estate Ian Nisse. He was assisted by real estate senior associates Dan Marriot, Catriona Berman, Florien Stone, Cate Taylor, in addition to associate Jon Smith. Partner Colin Morgan and senior solicitor Richard Fletcher advised in relation to the banking and finance side of the deal.

Partner Mark Baldwin, supported by James Coward, advised on tax aspects, while partner Rupert Casey and associate Charles Maurice advised on IP.

It is thought that Nabarro is advising St Martins on the buy side of the deal.

Background to this deal:

London Bridge Holdings had initially planned to refinance More London by early summer 2014, but when faced with a high-value offer by St Martins it decided to take up that offer instead.

Macfarlanes have been advising the London Bridge Holdings on the More London project since it bought the brown field site in 1998.

Nabarro has come across St Martins Property on the other side of various real estate deals – advising Hammerson on the £176m sale of 60 Threadneedle Street and CBRE GI on the £180m sale of 1 Bunhill Row over the past few years.