Rob has over 25 years experience of advising clients on all areas of corporate law with a particular focus on cross-border M&A, joint ventures and co-investments. He is the firm’s Head of M&A and M&A Strategy and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Private Equity Real Estate Group. Rob’s experience includes public takeovers; all manner of private share and business acquisitions/disposals, domestic and cross-border; private equity buyouts and exits; corporate venture capital investments, often with a path to control; and joint ventures/strategic alliances. He has particular knowledge of FinTech, EdTech and Real Estate businesses and the industries they operate in. His clients include listed and private companies, institutional investors, and financial intermediaries. He is widely regarded as a trusted advisor, leading the firm’s relationships with clients such as Aviva Investors, Brookfield, Burberry Plc, Compass Group PLC, London Stock Exchange Group Plc, Merlin Entertainments, Pearson PLC and Starwood Capital.
In recent editions of the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, Rob is recommended for Upper Mid-Market and Premium M&A deals and is also ranked as a leading individual for Corporate/M&A: Mid-Market. He is quoted as being “outstanding”, “technically strong, hardworking and easy to deal with” and a “superb M&A partner” with “strong technical abilities and relationship management skills” and clients praise him as “very attentive; our needs are his number-one priority” and for his “tailored advice”, with clients saying that he “doesn't just give us the law but also gives us advice on how it will affect our business”.
He has spent two years working in the Frankfurt office of an international law firm.
- Advising Babcock International Group Plc on the sale of its 74% equity stake in Holdfast Training Services Limited to existing JV partner, HICL Infrastructure PLC, for GBP 85 million and the acquisitions of the Defence Support Group from the UK Ministry of Defence, S. Macneillie & Son Limited and WRN Broadcast Limited.
- Advising The Blackstone Group International Partners LLP on the acquisition of Bourne Leisure Group, which holds the Butlins, Haven and Warner Hotel brands and its subsequent sale of the Butlins group; the GBP 196.5 million acquisition of Harbour Exchange commercial property complex from Land Securities Group Plc; the sale of the Times Square building at 160 Queen Victoria Street, London to Generali for approximately GBP 450 million; and the sale of the Guernsey property unit trust, which holds the commercial property at Alban Gate, for GBP 295 million to a joint venture between King Street and Arax Partners.
- Advising Brookfield Real Estate Partners on the formation of its pan-European logistics platform, including its acquisition of a portfolio of nine logistics assets located in Poland, Germany and Spain from Panattoni and its joint venture partners and the subsequent acquisition of a portfolio of five logistics assets located in France and the Netherlands from AXA.
- Advising Compass Group on its sale of Feedr, a UK-based online employee meal-delivery service, to EatFirst.
- Advising DS Smith Plc on the sale of its Plastics division to Olympus Partners for an enterprise value of USD 585 million and on the sale of Stepac L.A. Ltd. to Johnson Matthey Inc.
- Advising Edyn Limited on its real estate joint venture with the Canary Wharf Group with respect to One Charter Street, which will be a 279 apartment tower in Canary Wharf.
- Advising Kainos Group plc in connection with its initial public offering and admission of its shares to trading on the London Stock Exchange.
- Advising London Stock Exchange Group Plc on its USD 325 million acquisition of TORA Holdings Inc, a leading cloud-based technology provider that supports customers trading multiple asset classes across global markets; the acquisition of Quorate Technology Limited, a leading speech to text software developer; its investment in and provision of debt to “Floww”, an investment service business for start-ups; the acquisition of Exactpro Systems, its trading software testing company based in Russia, from, and the subsequent sale to, its senior management team; the sale of its enterprise solutions business in Sri Lanka (provided through Millennium IT); the acquisition of Beyond Ratings (an ESG data business); and the acquisition of a 27.64% stake in the Hub Exchange Limited.
- Advising Marcol on the establishment of a joint venture with alternative investment firm Angelo Gordon in the German self-storage market with the launch of Space Plus.
- Advising Market Tech Holdings Limited on its placing of new shares and admission to trading on AIM (this was the largest AIM IPO of 2014), its subsequent convertible bond offering on the Open Market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, its ABB placing of new shares to raise EUR 200.7 million and its step up to the Main Market.
- Advising Merlin Entertainments Plc on the sale of two ski resorts and an airport in Australia to US buyer, NYSE listed, Vail Resorts for AUD 174 million.
- Advising Oxford Properties on its acquisition of M7 Real Estate (a leading specialist in pan-European, regional, multi-tenanted commercial real estate and asset management, operating in 14 countries) for approx. GBP 200 million, the sale of a 50% interest in Watermark Place to Union Investment Real Estate GmbH and the GBP 600 million sale of Green Park business park to Mapletree.
- Advising the shareholders of Pangaea Laboratories Limited on their sale of the entire issued share capital of Pangaea to a newly incorporated entity controlled by Inflexion Private Equity. We also advised the shareholders and senior management on their roll-over and investment into the purchaser group.
- Advising Pearson Plc on its acquisition of Mondly, a global online language learning platform.
- Advising Ping An on the acquisition of a 10% interest and related shareholder arrangements in respect of the China Investment Corporation consortium that acquired Logicor, a pan-European logistics platform, from Blackstone.
- Advising Prologis Inc on the sale of a portfolio of logistics assets in the UK to real estate funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate Partners for GBP 473 million, representing the largest sale of logistics real estate assets on record in the UK; the sales of a USD 335 million portfolio of industrial properties to Blackstone Real Estate Partners, a portfolio of four distribution centres to Henderson UK Property OEIC, a portfolio of three distribution centres to London Pension Funds Authority; as well as the acquisitions of the Iceland Foods distribution centre in Enfield from Kuwait Finance House, the Sainsbury's distribution centre at Waltham Cross from Deka and a 30 acre development site at Stockley Park from Stockley Park Consortium Limited (a joint venture between Kajima Europe Ltd and M&G Real Estate).
- Advising Starwood Capital on its acquisition of The Holiday Inn, Manchester from Dominvs Group and the Dragonglass portfolio of seven Hilton hotels across the UK, totalling, 1300 rooms, from Park Hotels & Resorts for GBP135 million.
- Advising Verizon Communications Inc on the sale of preferred shares in Verizon UK Financing Limited to a number of parties associated with Voya Financial for GBP 51 million.
- St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, MA (First Class)
- College of Law, Guildford, CPE and LPC, 1995
- 2013 to date DLA Piper
- 2004 to 2013, an international law firm based in London, where he became a partner in 2006
- 1996 to 2004, a “Magic Circle” law firm based in London and Frankfurt.
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