In February 2015, Gowling WLG advised client LaSalle Investment Management (LaSalle) on an innovative property swap agreement with Derwent London (Derwent).
The deal saw Derwent acquire a minimum 175-year leasehold on 20 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, in London's Tech Belt. LaSalle retained the property's virtual freehold and the right to receive 10% of all rents.
In return, Derwent disposed of two properties - 22 Kingsway WC2, for £64.5 million, and Mark Square House EC2, for £32.1 million, representing net initial yields of 4.4% on both properties. The price of the acquisition is £88 million before costs, and the combined disposal proceeds are £115.3 million. Derwent received the balance of £27.3 million in cash before costs.
In addition, both companies took a 50% share in a joint venture to hold 9 and 16 Prescot Street E1. The properties were significant in that they were income-producing in the short term, but with future redevelopment opportunities across the whole site.
John Burns, partner at Gowling WLG, said: "As always, it was a privilege to work as part of the LaSalle team on this significant transaction. Swap deals tend to have their own particular challenges and this one was no different; but that of course makes them all the more satisfying to conclude. We are delighted to have played a part in making the transaction happen and wish both parties much success with the future of the joint venture."