Baker McKenzie is advising Spring Real Estate Investment Trust ("Spring REIT") on its proposed acquisition of 84 commercial properties in the United Kingdom for approximately £73.5 million. The properties are being operated as car servicing centres principally under the brand "Kwik-Fit". This is Spring REIT's first proposed acquisition since its initial public offering, and the first by a H-REIT in the United Kingdom.
The mutli-discplinary and multi-jurisdictional Baker McKenzie team involved members from the Hong Kong and London offices, and also the Singapore member firm Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow. The Hong Kong team was led by Jeremy Ong, special counsel, as well as associate Caryn Ng in Singapore, advising on corporate and regulatory issues. The London team involved partner James Burdett, and associates Eric Lim and Lucie Rose in the corporate group; partner Stephen Turner and associates Peter Moules and Lucy Zhu in the real estate group; and partner James Smith and associate Matthew Lovatt in the tax group, among others.
The acquisition shall diversify Spring REIT's portfolio, which currently comprises of two premium grade office towers in China Central Place, a prime mixed-use development complex in Beijing.
Baker & McKenzie's Asia-Pacific REIT Group has been at the forefront of ground-breaking REIT transactions in Asia. The team has been involved in almost all of the significant transactions to date involving REITs which are listed or have assets in Hong Kong. The Group's work includes advising REITs across the full spectrum of their legal requirements including IPOs, dual listings, follow-on acquisitions and disposals, financings, medium-term note programmes and convertible bond issuances. Clients of the Group include Link REIT, Champion REIT, Yuexiu REIT, Prosperity REIT, Fortune REIT, Hui Xian REIT, New Century REIT, Regal REIT and Spring REIT.
The team has also advised on numerous other significant REIT-related deals in the Asia-Pacific – including National Storage REIT’s equity raising; Charter Hall Retail REIT’s placement in ASX; Keppel REIT’s establishment of Australian investment structure; Parkway Life REIT’s acquisition of 2 properties in Japan; CDL Hospital Trusts / M&C REIT Management acquisition of 2 hotels in Japan; Starhill Global REIT on the acquisition of the landmark David Jones retail center in Perth; Impact Growth REIT, the first REIT to be established in Thailand; Prospect REIT Investment Corporation's merger with Japan Rental Housing Investments Inc.; Tower REIT’s IPO; Fubon No. 1 REIT’s and Fubon No. 2 REIT’s IPOs; MacarthurCook Industrial REIT’s IPO; Tokyo Growth J-REIT’s IPO; ARA Asset Management’s IPO; YTL Corporation’s acquisition of interests in Macquarie Prime REIT (now known as Starhill Global REIT).