Global law firm Clifford Chance advised the investment banks Merrill Lynch International (“Merrill Lynch”) and Bayerische Hypo- Und Vereinsbank (“HVB”) on the “Paris Residential Funding PLC” transaction, which consisted of a public issue of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) for an aggregate nominal amount of €1,000,130,000. Merrill Lynch was the Sole Arranger and Merrill Lynch and HVB were the Joint-Lead Managers and Joint Bookrunners. The transaction included the securitisation of two facilities Co-arranged and Co-originated by Merrill Lynch and HVB for the acquisition and improvement by the investment fund Westbrook of two portfolios of residential real properties located in Paris and close-in suburbs from Gecina S.A. and its subsidiaries including Simco S.A.
The first portfolio was acquired on 28 May 2003 and the second on 31 July 2003. The total purchase price of the portfolios was approximately €1.2 billion. The portfolios are anticipated to be converted into condominium co-ownership properties and then sold-off to current tenants or third parties. The property portfolio acquisitions represent the largest residential transactions ever in the French market as well as the largest cash CMBS to date in continental Europe.
The CMBS were the object of an international placement including a placement to U.S. investors under rule 144A of the U.S. Securities Act 1933.
Clifford Chance advised the Co-arrangers of the facilities, the Sole Arranger and Joint-lead Managers of the securitisation on all aspects of the structuring and documentation of the transactions including the structuring of the loans and security package, the securitisation, fiscal aspects, real estate issues and U.S. securities law.