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Deal 5: Alistair Ennever of Savills IM on Leroy Merlin Distribution Center Acquisition in Poland

Deal 5: Alistair Ennever of Savills IM on Leroy Merlin Distribution Center Acquisition in Poland

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On April 14, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Dentons had advised Savills Investment Management, acting on behalf of Korean institutional investors managed by Vestas Investment Management, on its acquisition of the Leroy Merlin distribution center near Lodz from Invesco Real Estate. We spoke to Alistair Ennever, Transaction Manager at Savills Investment Management, about the deal.

CEELM: To warm up, tell us a few words about Savills Investment Management. 

Alistair: Savills IM is an international real estate investment company with offices in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Luxembourg, and Poland, as well as in Australia, Japan, and Singapore. Savills IM currently has approximately EUR 20.75 billion worth of assets under management — of which approximately EUR 1.25 billion is located in Poland.

CEELM: You completed this acquisition on behalf of Vestas Investment Management. Were you mandated for this specific target or was it a target that you identified for the final buyers? 

Alistair: This was an opportunity we identified, which matched our investor's requirements. We were fortunate to be able to agree on an "off-market" transaction with the vendor.

CEELM: What made the Leroy Merlin distribution center a particularly attractive target?

Alistair: The target afforded us the opportunity to deliver a long-term, secure income in a location of strategic importance to the occupier. Furthermore we know the strength of the DIY market in Poland, which helped us underwrite the fundamentals of this transaction from a real estate and operator perspective.

CEELM: What would you say was the most complex aspect of the transaction?

Alistair: There were some tax and structuring aspects to overcome but the most complex elements to agree upon in the documentation were the "what if" scenarios, since this was a forward commitment to acquire the asset once construction had concluded.

CEELM: Why did you choose to use Dentons as legal advisors on this deal?

Alistair: We have a long-standing relationship with Dentons in Poland and across Europe, which we were keen to continue in this transaction. We always find that Dentons acts with the highest level of diligence and professionalism, which will result in our relationship continuing for the years ahead.