A cross-practice team comprising members of Cains’ top tier banking and finance and corporate and commercial teams recently advised German real estate investor, ECE, on the acquisition of a UK ‘Build to Rent’ portfolio from leading property developer Dandara, in a deal worth over £400 million.

The portfolio, which comprises three separate developments located at Aston Place in Birmingham, Leodis Square in Leeds and Chapel Wharf in Manchester, consists of a total of 2,100 units. The transaction was structured so ECE acquires the properties in phased stages; the Birmingham development was completed in late February and the developments at Leeds and Manchester are intended to be completed during the course of 2020.

The acquisition marks the first investment by ECE, which was founded in 1965 by mail-order pioneer Prof. Werner Otto and continues to be owned by the Otto family, into the ‘Build to Rent’ market; ECE  intends to further expand its activities in this sector across Europe in the coming years.

Directors Tim Shepherd and Scott Leonard-Morgan led the Cains team which advised ECE on the acquisition and financing elements of the transaction, assisted by associate Matthew Wilkinson and senior legal adviser Andrew Baker.

Separate Cains teams advising existing lenders HSBC (as senior lender) and Homes and Community Agency (trading as Homes England) were also involved, led by director Steven Quayle and managing associate Stephanie Chew respectively.