Pinsent Masons completes hat-trick of retail deals

International law firm Pinsent Masons has advised HSBC Alternative Investments on the £224.1 million acquisition from Land Securities of one of the largest retail centres in Scotland.

‘The Centre’, in Livingston, is Scotland’s second-largest covered shopping centre, totals more than 1 million sq ft and is home to more than 160 retailers, including Primark, Debenhams, BHS and M&S.

The transaction was completed as part of HSBC Alternative Investments’ “Club Deal” programme, which allows private investors to access prime real estate assets globally. Hines is acting as asset manager.

The deal completes a remarkable year for Pinsent Masons’ property practice in Scotland, taking the value of retail centre transactions to more than £500 million. Earlier in 2014 the firm advised on the acquisition of the Overgate Shopping Centre in Dundee for around £125 million and East Kilbride Shopping Centre for around £180 million.

The Pinsent Masons team acting on the deal was led by Glasgow based partners Tom Ferrier and Martin Devine.

Tom Ferrier said: “At the turn of the year we stood back and identified retail assets as an area of significant opportunity for us. However, to have completed three such significant transactions in less than 12 months has been remarkable and indicates the high level of investor interest in these assets, both at a private and institutional investor level. Our clients have remarked particularly on our innovative approach to delivering the work and specifically our use of SmartDelivery technology to manage the process.”

Land Securities, the vendor, was represented by CMS.