An investor's guide to the sector and its regulations.
Financing is perhaps more important to the real estate industry than most. The link between the availability of finance and real estate asset values was all too clear during the worst of the global financial crises. Real estate continues to be an area with significant scope for growth in the Asia Pacific region with the industry facing the challenges of urban consolidation and competition for development sites, as well as the consolidation of industry participants. Recently, we have witnessed foreign interest in the Australian real estate market with many foreign players having an appetite for Australian assets. All of this suggests an ongoing demand for debt finance in the real estate sector and an active real estate finance market into the future.
Real estate finance is a strength of Minter Ellison. Our real estate finance group are market leaders on all aspects of real estate financing from structuring through to dispute resolution. We advise a broad range of market participants, acting for senior and mezzanine debt providers, borrowers, issuers, sponsors and REITs.
We regularly structure and execute complex construction and development finance transactions across the residential, retail, commercial, industrial, hotel and tourism and aged care sectors, often involving joint venture or co-ownership arrangements and public private partnerships. We have had leading roles in a number of landmark urban renewal projects.
We are also active in the financing of REITs (both listed and wholesale) and managed investment schemes and have acted for the financiers in many of the significant A-REIT debt transactions (and restructures) over the past few years.
Our debt capital markets team regularly acts for real estate industry participants in DCM raisings including commercial mortgage backed securities and bond issues.
Advised on the stablishment of a A$150 million revolving cash advance and bank guarantee facilities to the newly-formed SCA Property Group in connection with the spin-off of Woolworths' property portfolio in Australia and New Zealand (consisting of 69 neighbourhood, sub-regional and freestanding shopping centres) valued at approximately A$1.4 billion.
Acted for Commonwealth Bank of Australia in relation to the financing of a 50% investment by National Pension Service of Korea (NPS) into a $360 million+ industrial property joint venture with the DEXUS Property Group.
Acted for Commonwealth Bank of Australia on the A$300 million financing to Fortius Active Property Trust as one of the joint venturers redeveloping the Mid City Centre in Sydney (consisting of a 32-level 38,000 sqm commercial office tower and 9,000 sqm of prime retail accommodation in Australia’s premium retail precinct, with frontage to both Pitt Street Mall and George Street in Sydney). Minter Ellison also acted for Commonwealth Bank of Australia on the refinancing of A$360 million of funding for Fortius Active Property Trust.
Acted for Commonwealth Bank of Australia in relation to A$132 million construction and term debt facilities to a joint venture between the Leighton Property Group and the Devine Group in connection with the 'Riverside Hamilton Harbour' precinct development in Brisbane.
Advised on the provision of a syndicated facility of $275 million to a joint venture comprising PDG Corporation and the Schiavello Group for the construction at Queensbridge Road, Southbank, Victoria of the residential apartment tower to be known as 'Prima Tower', comprising approximately 678 residential apartments.
Advised on A$1 billion syndicated facilities in connection with the takeover of ASX-listed Charter Hall Office REIT by scheme of arrangement, by a consortium comprising Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Reco Ambrosia Pte Ltd and Charter Hall Property Trust.
Acted for a syndicate of two lenders led by Westpac in connection with $234 million term and revolving facilities for the acquisition by Blackstone of the Greensborough Plaza Shopping Centre in Melbourne. The transaction involved the senior debt underwrite and sell-down to Deutsche Bank and a $25 million mezzanine finance piece, which involved complex intercreditor negotiations with the mezzanine debt provider.
Advised on a A$550 million syndicated construction facility for the first four stages of the Frasers Property Group (Singapore) / Sekisui House (Japan) joint venture development of Central Park, Sydney. When complete the site will comprise approximately 11 buildings, 1900 residential apartments, student housing, a hotel, a 16,000sqm multi-level retail centre and a 75,000sqm commercial office campus, including a precinct-wide tri-generation plant and water treatment facility.
Advised on the financing arrangements for the acquisition of seven Queensland Government-owned office buildings in the Brisbane CBD for A$561.9 million, by funds controlled by Queensland Investment Corporation and QSuper. As well as documenting and negotiating the financing arrangements, we assisted the financiers with due diligence of the underlying sale and leasing documentation.
Acting for a wholly owned subsidiary of Australand Holdings Ltd on the A$800 million Discovery Point development at Wolli Creek in New South Wales. This 8-hectare mixed use development will feature residential apartments, commercial offices, an integrated retail centre and extensive public and private parklands. We are advising on procurement and OH&S strategies, drafting pro-forma and project specific documentation (such as consultancy agreements and design and construct contracts), assisting in the preparation of the tender conditions, advising on the tendering process and compiling documentation for tender.
Advised on the A$193 million senior and mezzanine construction finance facilities for the mixed use development of 'East Village', Zetland, NSW, comprising a commercial/retail building and 4 residential apartment buildings.
Advised on the provision of a $162 million facility to assist CBD Property Pty Ltd with the construction of a mixed use (residential, retail and commercial office) building, including 558 residential apartments, at 568 Collins Street, Melbourne.
Advised on a syndicated construction facility to a consortium including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Lend Lease Trust, Australian Prime Property Fund, Telstra Super and First State Super, for Lend Lease's A$2.6 billion construction of commercial office towers at Barangaroo South, Sydney.