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Clifford Chance advises NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT on strategic €2bn pan-European joint venture and £260m portfolio acquisition of four UK private hospitals

26 August 2020

Clifford Chance advises NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT on strategic €2bn pan-European joint venture and £260m portfolio acquisition of four UK private hospitals

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has advised NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, Canada's leading global diversified healthcare REIT, on two major transactions in quick succession in the European healthcare real estate space: a €2bn pan-European joint venture with an Asian sovereign wealth fund, and the £260m acquisition of a portfolio of four hospitals located in Greater London, England (the "London Portfolio") .

The €2bn joint venture transaction, which was led by Partner Ian Painter from the London real estate team with support from colleagues across the Clifford Chance network (including in Germany and the Netherlands), will allow NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT and the sovereign wealth fund to pursue pan-European healthcare real estate opportunities together. Commenting on the deal, Paul Dalla Lana, Chairman and CEO of the REIT, said: " The joint venture will benefit from a high quality initial portfolio and leverages NorthWest's significant regional presence with a goal to building the leading pan-European healthcare real estate platform."

The London Portfolio, which comprises Parkside Hospital and the London Cancer Centre in Wimbledon, Highgate Hospital and Holly House Hospital in Essex, is 100% leased on a long-term inflation linked basis to Aspen Healthcare, a leading English hospital operator. The acquisition of the London Portfolio was funded with a £128m short-term loan, a £72m expansion of the REIT's revolving credit facility, and existing liquidity. The addition of the London Portfolio is strategically important as it increases the scale of the REIT's UK portfolio to £360m and positions it for further growth and partnership with the region's leading hospital operators.

Clifford Chance has a longstanding relationship with NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT having helped them with their recent move into major UK markets, including the acquisition for c.£100m of six private hospitals let to BMI Healthcare in January 2020. Ian Painter commented that: "All three of these recent transactions for NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT highlight the strength of Clifford Chance's market-leading real estate teams in the UK and Continental Europe, as well as our ability to deliver complex corporate real estate transactions seamlessly across borders with expert advice from lawyers in multiple jurisdictions and multiple practice areas." Mike Brady, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the REIT, said: "As always we were very appreciative of the Clifford Chance team's efforts and long hours spent advising us on these important transactions for us in order to bring them to fruition in the face of challenging times for the global real estate industry arising from COVID-19 ".

The team advising on the joint venture was led by Ian Painter and supported by lawyers Holly Porter, Emily Mattley and Rose Laitner. The tax aspects were led by Partners David Saleh and Dominik Engl with support from Director Simon Corzberg and lawyer Ted Meddick-Dyson. German real estate advice was provided by Partner Dennis Blechinger, supported by Counsel Martin Barlösius and lawyer Annika Kalke, and German corporate advice by Partner Dr. Nicole Englisch and Senior Associate David Schwenneker; while German antitrust and regulatory aspects were provided by Senior Associate Caroline Scholke and Counsel Dr Dimitri Slobodenjuk. Dutch real estate support was provided by Partner Liesbeth Buiter and Associate Lotte De Bruin, while Dutch tax advice was provided by Associate Stern Flik.

The team advising on the acquisition of the London portfolio was also led by Ian Painter and supported by Senior Associate Gabrielle Coppack and lawyers Holly Porter, Emily Mattley, Rose Laitner and Stephanie Ofili. Planning aspects were provided by UK Real Estate Practice Area leader Nigel Howorth and lawyer Anneke Theelen. Real Estate Finance aspects were provided by Co-head of the real estate sector Jane Cheong Tung Sing, Senior Associates Deborah Lipszyc and Suji Han. Tax aspects were provided by Partner David Saleh, Senior Associate Jemma Dick and lawyer Ted Meddick-Dyson.