Shoosmiths’ real estate investment group kicks off 2024 with £400m transacted

Shoosmiths’ real estate investment group has started the year robustly, completing transactions totalling more than £400m in Q1 2024.

There was increased activity across the office, industrial and logistics markets, as well as in the living sector where the firm acted for Berkeley Care Group on a deal involving a £207m care home portfolio. The sale-and-leaseback transaction saw Clariane SE, a French care home group and previous owner of Berkley Care, sell its UK care home portfolio to Elevation Healthcare Properties. This spanned 12 care homes with 805 beds located across England.

In a landmark deal for the rail industry, Shoosmiths’ real estate investment group also advised Porterbrook on its acquisition of the Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre.

The law firm assisted the rolling stock financier and asset management company with its purchase of the 135-acre site in Warwickshire, which is home to a 3.5km test track and facilities for testing, training, maintenance and storage for the railway. The acquisition will enable Porterbrook to deliver its future plans for the centre, including further improving its facilities.

Shoosmiths also concluded the second acquisition on behalf of Feldberg Capital’s new £500m ReForm brown-to-green workplace fund - the £75m acquisition of 21-25 Bedford Street, a mixed-use property in London’s Covent Garden. This follows the law firm supporting the fund’s inaugural purchase of 8 Bloomsbury Street, London, in Q4 2023.

Nathan Rees, partner and co-head of Shoosmiths’ real estate investment group, said:

"While it would be premature to declare a turning point in the market, Shoosmiths’ real estate investment group has had a robust start to 2024. Our team has been active across various sectors, with a common thread among deals being that investors are focused on realising the long-term development and investment potential in the assets they are targeting.

“For example, we’re supporting Feldberg Capital’s ReForm brown-to-green workplace fund, which is acquiring assets and enhancing them to meet the growing occupier demand for ESG-focused workplaces. Making these types of changes can help to bolster an asset’s value and saleability, at the same time as delivering key social and environmental benefits.

“New challenges will no doubt arise this year, but we are positive about the future of the UK real estate industry and the pivotal role investors play in transforming the built environment.”

In the industrial and logistics sector, Shoosmiths’ real estate investment group advised Cube Asset Management on the purchase and financing of a key logistics site in Swansea.

The firm also continues to advise Workspace Group PLC on its disposals programme from the portfolio of assets it acquired as part of the purchase of McKay Securities. Shoosmiths assisted the sale of £8m worth of non-core industrial and logistics assets in Q1 2024.

Kate McCall, partner and co-head of Shoosmiths’ real estate investment group, added:

“Regardless of asset class or sector, Shoosmiths’ real estate investment group is a trusted advisor to both domestic and international investors. It is not just legal expertise that our team brings, but also a deep commercial understanding and pragmatism that we know can be the difference in a transaction completing successfully.

“The team has achieved a lot in this first quarter and we are looking forward to keeping up the momentum as we approach the middle of the year. This will be a crucial period for the real estate industry, with the prospect of interest rate cuts on the horizon and the UK moving onto an election footing. We are committed to helping clients navigate these changes - overcoming hurdles and, importantly, seizing any opportunities as and when they arise.”

Elsewhere, Shoosmiths also supported social enterprise, Make CIC, on its acquisition of the former Riverside Housing headquarters in Birkenhead. The purchase was funded via a Town Deal for Birkenhead, which is investing up to £25m into the area, unlocking new growth. 

Make’s CIC’s vision for the 17,000 sq ft vacant site includes includes incorporating creative, cultural and community uses - providing working and studio space for creatives and artists, alongside a programme of workshops, exhibitions and support. The social enterprise also purchased a near-by car park that will be transformed into a community garden.

The acquisitions follows Shoosmiths and Make CIC taking part in a cross-sector coalition, Platform Places, that devised a set of proposals seeking to drive positive social change in the UK’s urban centres - aimed at bringing empty buildings back into use.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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