DLA Piper advises Menora Mivtachim on a joint venture to acquire the VBG portfolio worth €84.9 million

International law firm DLA Piper has advised Menora Mivtachim on a joint venture with Redefine International P.L.C., a property investment company listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Through this joint venture Menora Mivtachim acquired four German office properties, the so called VBG portfolio.

Menora Mivtachim is a leading insurance company and the biggest new pension fund in Israel. The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv and manages assets valued at €18 billion.

Menora Mivtachim acquired 49 per cent of interest in the VBG holding company from Redefine P.L.C. for a nominal amount. On 31 July 2012 the joint venture company, together with certain of its subsidiaries, has reached agreement with the special servicer of the VBG facilities to dispose of the VBG assets to new subsidiary companies within the joint venture structure. The proceeds from the disposal of approximately €80 million are used to settle the original VBG facilities in full. The facilities had an outstanding balance of €117.3 million. The acquisition has been financed with a new debt facility by German bank DG Hyp AG.

The VBG assets comprise four individual office properties situated in Berlin, Dresden, Cologne and Stuttgart in Germany, all of which are currently let to German social insurance body Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft (VBG).

The team of DLA Piper comprised partners Carsten Loll (real estate, Munich), Frank Schwem (finance, Frankfurt) and Kirsten Girnth (corporate, Frankfurt) as well as senior associates Martin Haller (real estate, Munich), Torsten Pokropp (finance, Frankfurt) and Birka Stroschein (corporate, Frankfurt). The deal was introduced by partners Paul Jayson (real estate, London) and Jeremy Lustman (corporate, Washington D.C.).

The seller Redefine was advised by a team from Norton Rose’s Hamburg and Frankfurt offices which was led by tax partner Uwe Eppler in Hamburg, further comprised of partners Thomas Hopf (real estate, Frankfurt), Timo Noftz (finance, Hamburg) and Klaus von Gierke (corporate, Hamburg) with assistance from Alexander von Reuss, Brigitte Hidding (both tax, Hamburg), Ulrike Bernert-Auerbach (real estate, Frankfurt), Felix Dinger (public law, Hamburg) and Katharina von der Heyde (corporate, Hamburg).

The special servicer of VBG portfolio was advised by partner Claudia Hard (finance, Berlin) and associate Gordon Geiser (finance, Berlin) from Olswang.