Linklaters and CC lead on £1.3bn shopping centre refinancing

Magic circle pair advise as Intu refinances four shopping centres

Linklaters and Clifford Chance (CC) have taken lead roles on the £1.3bn refinancing of four major UK shopping centres including the Lakeside centre in Essex.

The refinancing for Intu Properties – which was until recently known as Capital Shopping Centres Group (CSC) – covers four newly rebranded shopping centres: Intu Lakeside, Intu Watford, Intu Braehead in Glasgow and Intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham.

The complex deal included an £800m debut bond issue for Intu – divided into two tranches of £450m and £350m – as well as the drawdown of £350m of syndicated bank debt.

Intu has also established a £5bn secured medium-term note programme and a multi-source debt platform to allow it to raise secured capital markets and bank debt on common terms.

Intu turned to long-term adviser Linklaters, with structured finance head James Harbach leading the team. CC advised joint bookrunners Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC and UBS Investment Bank, with banking and capital markets partner Christopher Walsh leading the firm’s team.

“This complex multi-source securitisation platform is a landmark transaction in the secured real estate finance market,” said Harbach. “The flexible platform is beneficial for Intu, allowing an expansion over time of the secured group structure and an ability to introduce new assets and raise debt or retire debt at the optimum times in the market.”

In 2010, Linklaters corporate partner William Buckley led a team advising CSC on its purchase of the Trafford Centre in Manchester – one of the largest single-asset real estate M&A deals carried out in the UK. 

Related: Travers and Linklaters lead the way on £1.6bn shopping centre sale.