Wave of international property deals keep London law firms busy

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Kirkland & Ellis advises on two multi-billion pound M&A transactions amid renewed international interest in the UK property sector.

The company is advising Canadian investment fund Brookfield on the sale of its student housing portfolio, Student Roost, for more than £3.3 billion.

London corporate partners Greg Scott and Matthew Elliott, lead the negotiations, joined by financial partner Stefan Arnold-Soulby, tax partners Mavnick Nerwal, Katie Price and James Seddon and antitrust partner Paula Riedel.

The buyers are The Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and the American real estate group Greystar.

GIC is recommended by Linklaters. Corporate real estate partner Tom Watson led the team, according to a person familiar with the matter. Linklaters did not provide a comment in time for publication.

Another person with knowledge of the deal said Greystar was being advised by Jones Day, with his antitrust partner Mark Jones leading the team. Jones Day did not respond to requests for comment.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022 and will be subject to customary closing conditions, covers major UK university towns and has over 23,000 beds, with a further 3,000 under development.

Meanwhile, Kirkland also advises San Francisco-based investors Inclusive Capital Partners (In-Cap) on its planned £1.5bn bid for UK property developer Countryside.

In-Cap, which already has a 9% stake in the company, is being advised by Kirkland & Ellis partners David Holdsworth and Dipak Bhundia, according to a company spokesperson. Norton Rose Fulbright advises Countryside, with partners Paul Whitelock and Kit McCarthy in the lead, another person said. Countryside has been listed on the stock exchange since 2016, with Linklaters advising on the IPO at the time. If In-Cap were successful in its takeover bid, it would put the property developers back into private hands.


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