17 December 2021
- Ian Painter, Holly Porter, Rose Laitner, Nigel Howorth, Anneke Theelen, Edward Bretherton, Marianne Toghill, Adam Waite, Steven Fox
Clifford Chance advises Helical Plc in connection with the acquisition of Baker McKenzie's London office for redevelopment
Clifford Chance has advised long-standing developer client Helical plc on the acquisition of the Guernsey incorporated single asset company FPM 100 New Bridge Street Limited, that owns 100 New Bridge Street, London EC4, for a cash consideration of £160m.
The 167,026 square foot office building, which is held on a 999-year long lease from Network Rail with passing rents of c.£7.3m per annum, is let to law firm Baker McKenzie, whose lease expires in December 2023. Helical plc, a leading UK real estate company specialising in the redevelopment of highly sustainable, best-in-class London office buildings, will carry out a major refurbishment once Baker McKenzie vacate the building.
The transaction was led by Real Estate Partner Ian Painter who commented: "We were very pleased to assist Helical with the acquisition of another exciting redevelopment project, having worked closely with them for many years now to acquire and execute numerous developments, most recently the Crossrail overstation development The Kaleidoscope which is now fully let to TikTok. This particular transaction again emphasises the breadth of expertise in the Clifford Chance real estate team as we delivered all elements of the deal, including the corporate aspects, as Helical acquired the target company rather than the property directly. The acquisition also demonstrates the growing importance of sustainable developments since corporate occupiers are increasingly focusing on the environmental impact of the construction of their office buildings and not just traditional factors such as the location and amenities on offer."
In view of the size of the transaction, which constitutes a Class I transaction under the Listing Rules, the proposed acquisition is conditional on shareholder approval of Helical plc at a General Meeting, which is expected to be held in early February 2022. Gerald Kaye, Chief Executive of Helical plc, said: “The Clifford Chance team, led by Ian Painter, have once again done a great job for us handling a number of complex issues against a tight timescale. The acquisition of 100 New Bridge Street provides us with the opportunity to carry out a major refurbishment, which will have less impact on the environment than a ground up development, and which we will be able to deliver more quickly. We expect this to involve recladding the elevations and incorporating the latest technology as well as high-quality tenant amenities to create a new best in class Grade A office building, which will operate to the highest standards of sustainability.“
Ian Painter was assisted on the transaction by Associates Holly Porter and Rose Laitner. Planning input was provided by Partner Nigel Howorth and Senior Associate Anneke Theelen and construction input was provided by Partner Ed Bretherton, Head of UK Real Estate Construction Marianne Toghill and Senior Associate Adam Waite. Corporate regulatory advice was provided by Partner Steven Fox.