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21 March 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Herbert Smith ha…

21 March 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Herbert Smith has advised Consensus Business Group, the property company owed by Iranian businessman Vincent Tchenguiz, on a £366 million sale and leaseback joint venture with Tesco.

The deal involved Tesco contributing 12 of its stores and two large distribution centres to a Jersey limited partnership which is owned 50% by Tesco and 50% by Consensus. The stores and centres are let to Tesco on 27-year leases, with Tesco retaining the option to buy back the stores.

The joint venture vehicle also entered into a £315 million loan facility with Deutsche Bank.

The deal allows Tesco to release funds from its property portfolio to use for investment in its existing stores.

Herbert Smith partners Chris de Pury and Simon Chadney led the team acting for Consensus, with tax partner Neil Warriner providing tax advice.

Chris de Pury said:

“This deal is the latest in a string of investment deals we have advised Consensus on over the past year; it follows the acquisitions of the Challenger Portfolio, 60 London Wall, 1 America Square and Lloyds Chambers.”

Berwin Leighton Paisner (David Robins, Tim Simmonds, Christopher Cann) acted for Tesco and Clifford Chance (Arthur Dyson and Robert Bindless) acted for Deutsche Bank.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

On the same day as the completion of the above deal, Chris de Pury and Simon Chadney of Herbert Smith also sealed the £135 million acquisition of the Brunel shopping centre, Swindon, for client CIT Group. Berwin Leighton Paisner (Richard Hopkinson-Woolley) acted for the sellers, Westfield and Hermes; Clifford Chance (Damien Perry) acted for the lenders, Deutsche Bank; RBS financed the CIT deal and were advised by Addleshaw Goddard.

In the past year Herbert Smith’s real estate department has advised Consensus Business Group on over £1 billion worth of investment acquisitions and refinancings. This includes the acquisition of the Challenger Portfolio (four office blocks in and around London) for £290 million, the £160 million acquisition of 60 London Wall from Scottish Widows and the acquisition of 1 America Square, London from Fordgate for £110 million.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.