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Freehills keeps foot in property door

Freehills keeps foot in property door

Freehills has been appointed to a $806 million entitlements offer by Lend Lease, the most recent of several deals with the client.

FREEHILLS has been appointed to a $806 million entitlements offer by Lend Lease.

The property developer client launched its planned capital raising to help finance new projects and stop its credit rating falling into junk status.

The offer is being conducted as a SAREO (single bookbuild accelerated renounceable entitlement offer), with institutions participating on an accelerated basis ahead of the retail offer. Any shortfall will be dealt with by way of a single bookbuild after the close of the retail offer.

The new equity is set to help the company keep its Baa3 and BBB-, the lowest rungs of investment grade with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. It should also allow Lend Lease to continue its project pipeline, which has been boosted by about $12 billion in the past six months.

Freehills lead partner, Justin O’Farrell, attributes part of the company’s recent success to the appointment of Steve McCann as Lend Lease CEO last year. “[Since then] Lend Lease’s success rate on projects has been phenomenal, and this raising should further assist.”

O’Farrell led the team advising Lend Lease and worked closely with senior associate Robert Bileckij and solicitors Wendy Ko and Jamie Stollery.

The low-doc deal was put together in an intensive time frame, the firm said, following Lend Lease’s success on a string of acquisitions and major developments, such as the $6 billion Barangaroo development, on which Freehills is also acting.

O’Farrell also acted on the Lend Lease stapling deal late last year and on the launch of its new Lend Lease Real Estate Partners 3 fund, which is preferred bidder for a portion of the ING Real Estate portfolio.

The Freehills team worked closely on the deal with Lend Lease general counsel, William Hara.

“[The general counsel’s] no-nonsense and professional approach are a pleasure to deal with’, O’Farrell said.

The underwriters to the rights offer are Royal Bank of Scotland and Merrill Lynch.

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