Melbourne and Sydney-based law firm Maddocks advised on the $112 million purchase of the World Trade Centre (WTC), which looks set to be the largest property transaction in Melbourne this year.
Settlement took place at the end of July after months of intensive work on due diligence, negotiations, structuring and completing the acquisition of the majority of the WTC, on behalf of its client Asset 1. The property investment company purchased the WTO from Malaysian-backed Lang Australia in a deal underpinned by Macquarie Bank.
Maddocks senior development and investment partner David Rennick led the team, which was comprised mostly of property lawyers but also included commercial, tax, banking and finance lawyers. Rennick said the transaction was broken into segments and responsibility for each part was given to a member of the team, resulting in the deal running more smoothly and quickly.
Rennick said the fact that the WTC comprised a number of separate but related buildings added complexity to the deal. “Our client was purchasing two of those [buildings] and another party came in to take the third. The complexity arises from the connection between the buildings and the reliance on services and management functions between the buildings,” he said.
“We have a very substantial practice in master plan community type development work and this transaction is really another part of that practice, where we were putting together various parts of a project and coming up with solutions for our clients.” He said the firm tailored the principles of master plan communities to the WTC deal.
Asset 1 views the WTC property as a long-term investment and would undertake extensive redevelopment, particularly of the retail areas, Rennick said. The WTC, located on the Yarra River next to the Docklands precinct, is a large complex bounded by the river and Flinders Street, made up of five interlinked office buildings and a large car park across three lower levels.
Key tenants include the Victoria Police and the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games organisation. SAITeysMcmahon purchased the Victoria Police headquarters. They were represented by Donaldson Trumble; Mallesons Stephen Jaques represented Macquarie Bank, Wisewoulds represented the vendors and Gadens represented Asset 1’s financier.