Sale of 300+ high street retail properties
Sales advisor to FMS Wertmanagement (FMS), the German government wind-up institution, in relation to the debt (loan and interest rate swap) secured by a portfolio of 311 high street retail assets, geographically spread across the UK, with Boots as the main tenant.
The assets were originally the subject of a sale & leaseback transaction, with a short lease term remaining at the time of the sales process. The high street retail sector was already under stress. The equity sponsor was managing the assets and was also permitted to bid in the consensual sales process.
- We managed a highly competitive two-stage bidding process and enabled the transaction to progress smoothly, getting potential buyers comfortable with the risk of renewing the leases in the absence of access to the tenant, as well as with the risks associated with the incumbent equity sponsor wanting to bid in the sales process.
- We also recommended a sale of the borrower corporate structure with embedded tax losses to maximise sales proceeds, and persuaded the incumbent equity sponsor to provide access and support so that corporate and financial DD could be undertaken to facilitate this for the benefit of bidders.
- Despite being jointly appointed with another sales advisor (one of the largest global real estate agency firms), we sourced two-thirds of bids in the first stage of the process and contributed all binding bids in the second and final stage of the process.
- Achieved a “sale price well in excess of the book value” as mentioned in the annual report of FMS, the only transaction specifically referred to across its entire portfolio of c.€77bn at the time (including non-real estate exposures).