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Pub portfolio secured for long-standing client

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    Eversheds Sutherland advises NewRiver REIT plc on acquisition of Hawthorn Leisure Holdings Limited

    Eversheds Sutherland has advised NewRiver REIT plc (NewRiver), a FTSE 250 property developer and asset manager, on its £106.8m acquisition of Hawthorn Leisure Holdings Limited (Hawthorn) from an affiliate of Avenue Capital Group

    The consideration payable for the shares in Hawthorn Leisure will be £55.1 million, payable in cash upon completion, with the balance of the £106.8m of enterprise value principally comprising Hawthorn Leisure's net debt. This represents a net initial yield based on the value of the property portfolio of 13.6% and will be satisfied using the Company’s existing resources.

    The Eversheds Sutherland team was led by corporate Partner Aleen Gulvanessian, and comprised: James Vernon, Legal Director (corporate), and Senior Associate Katie Stirling (corporate).

    Partner Ben Jones and Senior Associate Brendan Moran provided tax advice.

    As well as a portfolio of 298 high quality community pubs, the acquisition includes an established brand and pub management platform, which could be applied across the Company’s existing pub portfolio, generating significant scale-based operating synergies. The transaction will be immediately accretive to NewRiver’s Funds From Operations (FFO) and net assets.

    Aleen Gulvanessian commented:

    “We were delighted to assist NewRiver in concluding the transaction. The deal was completed within a very tight timeline for a deal of this nature, following the grant of exclusivity. We were able to achieve that by working as one team with our clients and all their other advisers.”

    Mark Davies, CFO of NewRiver REIT plc, commented:

    “Eversheds Sutherland pulled out all the stops to ensure this transaction was completed within a significantly short time frame. Because we are a longstanding client of the global practice, they know our business well and once again, easily exceeded our expectations.”

    The Eversheds Sutherland team advised NewRiver on its oversubscribed £225m placing in July last year.

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    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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