Comment: A highly recommended firm in real estate which strengthened its visibility, largely due to activity in numerous transactions. Traditionally strong in mid-cap deals, e.g. for Publity, CMS is increasingly seen in larger transactions: it advised Universal Investment Luxembourg on acquiring a €687m retail portfolio from Corestate. The practice boasts manpower no other German real estate practice can compete with, which allows it to handle transactions quickly. Its national and international breadth, incl. a Luxembourg office, comes in useful for share deals. The appointment of a partner specializing in transactions takes account of this development. The firm profited from the rise in project development in the market, e.g. work for Cube Asset II regarding the development of student apartments. This and advice to Accor Hotels on selling a pan-European hotel portfolio shows that the firm currently dominates these attractive asset classes. In finance, there is traditionally much work for alternative financers, such as insurers, though these were less active due to the low market interest rates.
Strengths: Transactions. Advice on alternative finance.
Development potential: The merger with Nabarro and Olswang in the UK could lend the German CMS team momentum, both in inbound and outbound activity, but CMS would have to make greater use of this potential than it did with CMS Cameron McKenna.
Recommended: Dr. Volker Zerr (“his team delivers superb quality and always within the agreed, often short, time frame”, client; “very friendly, strong expertise”, “esp. strong in southern Germany”, competitors), Heinrich Schirmer ( “outstanding, understands his business”, “very collegial, solution-oriented and pleasant”, competitors), Dr. Andreas Otto (“highly experienced”, “levelheaded and pragmatic”, clients; “competent and collegial”, competitor), Dr. Dirk Rodewoldt, Dr. Matthias Kuß (“very good, competent and in-depth handling of large transactions, strong personal commitment, always adequate and appropriate approach, very reliable”, client).
Practice: Focus on ?M&A, project development and plant construction, ?bank lending and acquisition finance. Also funds, asset management and rent law. Property focus areas include hotel chains, wind farms and pipelines. Also active in ?public procurement, ?construction; strong notary office. (35 partners, 62 associates in the field of “Real Estate & Public”)
Clients: ?? Anna Real Estate on sale of residential portfolio; AOK on sale and partial lease back of 42 properties; Allianz on portfolio sale and acquisition of office project Kap West; Universal Investment Luxembourg on acquisition of retail portfolio; Accor Hotels on portfolio sale.
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