DLA and SJ Berwin lead on British Land's Ealing shopping centre purchase

DLA Piper and SJ Berwin have played lead roles on a deal that has seen British Land acquire a portfolio of London properties from Dutch property investment company Wereldhave for £177.5m. 

The sale included the £142.5m purchase of the 300,000 sq ft Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, which houses high street retail brands such as Boots, Marks & Spencer and River Island.

In addition, British Land has purchased four retail and office properties in Baker Street, Chiswick High Road, Putney High Street and Fulham Road for a combined £34.95m.

SJ Berwin advised longstanding client British Land on the deal with a team led by real estate partners Ed Page and Michael Scott and corporate partner Michael Goldberg.

Meanwhile, Wereldhave took advice from a team at DLA Piper led by Liverpool real estate partner Mark Beardwood, who acted for the company on its purchase of the Ealing shopping centre in 2011.

The sale forms part of Wereldhave’s strategy to exit the UK market in order to focus on shopping centres in northwest Europe and sustainable offices in Paris.

Following this deal, Wereldhave’s UK portfolio will consist of a plot of land and a development project in Richmond valued at £23m, which will be sold on completion.

This January, it sold its entire US portfolio to private equity firm Lone Star Funds for $720m (£474m).

Beardwood commented: “Last year, Wereldhave decided to change strategy and dispose of its UK assets and exit the country in 2013. As such, we have been assisting them in implementing this plan set against what has been a very challenging timetable.”

Related: SJ Berwin and Simpson Thacher lead on British Land’s Broadgate sell-off.