The real estate blog: A busy week for Oxford Properties

Canadian real estate investor Oxford Properties has had an interesting couple of weeks with the company successfully pulling off two high profile deals as well as making changes to its UK management team.

Last week it emerged that Oxford is set to buy the PariSquare building from Tristan Capital Partners and STAM Europe. The French deal is valued at €250m (£178m) and saw Oxford advised by French firms Lacourte Raquin Tatar and Bredin Prat.

Since then Oxford’s UK managing director Richard Pilkington has left the company to join Cain Hoy Enterprises. Pilkington takes up the role as managing director at Cain Hoy but it is unknown who will replace him as Oxford’s UK head.

On the same day that Pilkington’s move was announced Oxford also revealed it had completed a deal through a joint venture (JV) with Singapore based investment company Temasek. The deal saw the JV acquire IPC Magazines Group for £415m from Time Inc.

As part of the deal Oxford and Temasek also acquired the Blue Fin Building in Southwark, which was originally owned by IPC Magazines. Despite this Time Inc still plans to maintain its UK executive office within the building, which led to the investment company leasing back a number of floors to its original owners.

Time Inc director of legal and business affairs Robbie MacDonald instructed Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) to advise throughout the deal. The BLP team consisted of head of real estate Chris de Pury, head of corporate tax Elizabeth Bradley, corporate commercial real estate partner Alan Wight and finance partner Adam Bogdanor.

It is understood that Oxford Property was advised by Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) partner Alice Dockar and head of real estate Don Rowlands.

This was not the only real estate deal HSF completed last week. Rowlands and his team also successfully advised Brookfield Property Partners on the first pre-let at 100 Bishopsgate. Brookfield announced it was letting the first seven floors of the 37-story building to the Royal Bank of Canada in a deal which sees the bank agree to rent 250,000sq ft of space in the city over 25 years.

Aloreng with Rowlands the team included tax partner Neil Warriner and senior associates Fraser Grant and Gordon Anderson. Associates Carolyn Milligan and Will Barnes also assisted with the help of trainee Jessica Barker.

Allen & Overy advised the Royal Bank of Canada. 

Deals

Deal one: BLP advised Aviva Investors on the sale of a 50 per cent stake in a portfolio of central London properties to Canadian pension investment manager PSP Investments.

The portfolio of 14 properties includes a mix of income-generating assets and development sites across the City and the West End.

Real estate partners Robert MacGregor and Ian Waring led BLP’s team with assistance from investment management partners Simon Pollock and Nicola Hopkins.

Deal two: DWF’s Scottish construction, infrastructure and projects team is advising on a £120m energy from waste development project in East Tullos.

Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council have instructed DWF to advise on the deal, which will eventually see 150,000 tonnes of annual waste turned into low-cost energy for the region.

The team will be led by DWF’s Scottish construction, infrastructure and projects head Suzanne Moir. The firm is also advising Dundee City Council and Angus Council on its joint residual waste project.