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Freshfields and Clifford Chance act as advisors as Westfield Stratford refinances



Westfield’s Stratford City Shopping Center received advice for £750m commercial mortgage-secured refinancing package.
The original sale note was postponed during August, but was re-launched during the latter half of last month.
The Fitch and Dominion Bond Rating Service rated this the largest agency CMBS transaction in the UK during this year and gave it a rating of AAA.

Freshfields acted on behalf of Westfield, along with the Westfield in-house team, which was led by its deputy general counsel, Aline Taireh.  Chris Barratt, the finance partner, along with senior associate, Sabah Nawaz, led the magic circle firm’s team.  Colin Hargreaves, a partner, provided the tax advice.

Credit Agricole CIB and Deutsche Bank, the lead managers, were advised by Clifford Chance.

Since the financial crash of 2008, bonds made up of commercial mortgages have lost favor, however sales of CMBS with groups of loans secured by assets such as offices and shopping centers have gained favor over the last few years.

Westfield Stratford City is situated adjacent to the Olympic Park in east London.  It is the largest urban shopping center within Europe and houses in excess of 300 stores, 70 restaurants, three hotels and a 14-screen cinema.

Westfield received advice from legal firms SNR Denton and Beachcroft regarding the lease agreements for 300 stores within the center during its initial opening in 2011.  However, the key role was given to Ashurst as it took the lead role in advising the Australian shopping center group on property, development, planning and construction issues.


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