Travers Smith LLP has advised the partners of Benson Elliot Capital Management LLP (Benson Elliot), a leading UK-based private equity real estate fund manager and longstanding client of the firm, on the sale of Benson Elliot to PineBridge Investments Holdings Europe Limited (PineBridge), a private global asset manager. Completion of the transaction is subject to various customary regulatory approvals.
Founded in 2005, Benson Elliot manages over US$3.5 billion of equity and holds a diversified pan-European portfolio currently comprised of office, retail, hotel and residential assets, including in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Poland. Benson Elliot has successfully launched four European funds, the most recent of which closed in 2019 at €836 million. Travers Smith has a long-standing relationship with Benson Elliot having advised the firm since its inception on the structuring and fundraising for each of their funds, as well as fund finance, real estate and regulatory matters over the years.
Marc Mogull, Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer at Benson Elliot, said: “Some months ago the leadership team at Benson Elliot undertook a strategic review to explore how we could build on fifteen years of success at Benson Elliot. We wanted to ensure that our organisation would remain at the forefront of private equity real estate investing in a changing market environment. We are pleased that this process has resulted in our joining forces with PineBridge. This partnership will enable us to put in place the infrastructure for future growth, to continue attracting and developing the best talent in the industry, and to sustain our track record of best-in-class performance. Importantly, it ensures continuity in our existing activities, respects the unique spirit and culture we have developed at Benson Elliot, and offers an exciting future for the Benson Elliot team".
Travers Smith's Private Equity & Financial Sponsors Partner Edmund Reed said: "This was a highly complex transaction which through a seamless integration of M&A, Fund, Tax and Regulatory advice showcases exactly the sort of deals at which Travers Smith excels. I am very proud of the result our team of cross-practice specialists has delivered for the client, especially in a remote working environment. Benson Elliot has been a long-standing client of our firm, and it has been a real privilege for all of us to work with them on this important transaction which helps them develop their business to the next stage."
The Travers Smith team was led by a Private Equity & Financial Sponsors Partners Edmund Reed and Ian Shawyer together with Funds Partner Sam Kay, supported by Private Equity & Financial Sponsors Senior Associate Victoria Bramall, and Private Equity & Financial Sponsors Associates Eric Van Winssen, Vanessa Kitching and Priya Bansal and Funds Associate Hannah MacDonald.
Given the hybrid and bespoke nature of the transaction, the Travers Smith team also included a broad cross-specialist range of advisors:
- Financial regulatory advice was provided by Partner Stephanie Biggs and Associate James Barnard.
- Tax advice was provided by Partner Simon Skinner, Senior Counsel Jon Woodall and Associate Aimee Hutchinson.
- Employment advice was provided by Partner Sian Keall supported by Associate Hanna Bates-Martens.
- Fund Finance advice was provided by Partner Danny Peel and Senior Counsel Jamie Parish.
- Competition advice was provided by Partner and Head of Competition Nigel Seay, Senior Associate Richard J. Brown and Associate Oliver Bates.
Berkshire Global Advisors provided corporate finance advice to the sellers. PineBridge was advised by Simmons & Simmons LLP and Perella Weinberg UK Limited.
Travers Smith advises asset owners and asset managers in the private equity, alternative credit, real estate and infrastructure sectors and has a market-leading cross-practice team of 43 partners representing clients in the private capital sector who manage over US$4 trillion of assets. Through its consolidated approach to providing sophisticated legal services, across transactional M&A and private equity, infrastructure, asset management, fund formation and fund transactions, regulatory, tax, finance, derivatives, structured products, operational risk and sustainable finance (ESG), the team is able to combine cross-disciplinary specialisms to provide holistic support to these private capital clients on important matters both for the funds that they operate and for their own businesses, as well as on the structuring and raising of new private capital funds. The firm also has strong relationships with asset owners, such as pension schemes and family offices.