CORRS CHAMBERS WESTGARTH acted for Mirvac Group in its $1.124 billion acquisition of a portfolio of properties and businesses from Walker Corporation — said to be the largest commercial property transaction in Australia.
Mallesons Stephen Jaques, led by Stuart Dixon-Smith, acted for Walker Corporation.
“It was a deal which involved acquisitions across just about all the real estate asset classes,” said Peter Calov, one of Corrs’ lead partners on the transaction. He said it was the biggest property transaction he had worked on so far.
Mirvac will pay $739.4 million for the bulk of the assets, including 50 per cent of Broadway and Rhodes shopping centres in Sydney for $215 million and $99 million respectively, and residential developments in NSW, Victoria Queensland.
The rest of the assets will be purchased by JF Meridian Trust, an ASX listed trust managed by Mirvac and Perron Investments, which will buy the other half of the Broadway and Rhodes shopping centres.
“The deal involved, of course, acquisitions in contracts for sale of land, sale of shares agreements, we bought some businesses and we also picked up, in a structured way, some other opportunities in both the residential and industrial area,” said Calov.
The firm had less than 45 days to complete their work on the transaction, which crossed three jurisdictions, and as well as Queensland partner Daryl Clifford, involved about 40 lawyers and staff from Corrs.
“I think we ended up with something like 42 major transaction documents,” said Andrew Lumsden, another lead partner working on the deal. “It wasn’t exactly Desert Storm, but it wasn’t far from it.”
Both said it was critical that the transaction remained confidential as “Walker was very concerned that staff and personnel would discover that a substantial part of the portfolio was up for sale and they would lose key personnel”.
Mirvac has entered a binding contract with Walker and has paid a deposit of $10 million and JFM will pay a deposit of $3.5 million.
The company said it is committed to executing the transaction by 11 December, and completion is expected on 5 January 2007.