Minter Ellison acted for the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), a commonwealth statutory body, in relation to its $100 million sale of residential property to Westpac Funds Management, represented by Mallesons. The transaction was a sale and leaseback arrangement and involved 178 properties in NSW, Queensland and the ACT.
The transaction raised significant capital for the DHA and ensured its ability to provide housing where required to house members of the defence forces. The sale is the first major successful offering by the DHA of a large residential portfolio to the marketplace.
Elizabeth Whitelaw in Canberra and David McElhone in Sydney led the transaction for Minters. Whitelaw said the Commonwealth legislative requirements added a layer of complexity to the deal, with the need to ensure transparency and value for money. “That was an important part of the process that needed to be adhered to.”
Also, the combined impact of four distinct legislative regimes, from each state and territory and at the federal level, added to the workload, with elements such as different vendor disclosure regimes in each. Whitelaw said there was a large amount of vendor disclosure material that had to be obtained and reviewed during the DHA’s due diligence. The firm also worked with the client to establish an electronic dataroom, which was available to successful participants in the tender process. “There was at least 10,000 pages of due diligence material,” she said.