Geldards Advise Clowes Developments On Logistics Deal

Geldards have successfully advised Clowes Developments on a £100m deal to develop six logistics facilities throughout the wider East Midlands region with UK insurance giant NFU Mutual.

The deal will deliver six new Grade A logistics facilities totalling more than 1 million sq. ft. The facilities will also bring significant economic benefits to the M1 corridor attracting a number of high-profile businesses and major employers to the region. These include a brand new 162,500 sq. ft. Deichmann-Shoes purpose-built facility anticipated to be available by early 2022.

Led by Derby based property partner Heather Dixon and supported by construction partner, Chris Hawrylak, a Geldards team advised on all aspects of the transaction including six development funding agreements and six construction contracts. All legal negotiations were completed in a challenging ten-week period.

Commenting on the deal, Heather Dixon said;

“We are delighted to have been able to support our long-standing client Clowes on its largest and most important transaction to date. Finding the right funding partner and negotiating six development funding agreements and the associated construction contracts in the current market, with the major challenge of Covid, Brexit and high demand for construction materials, was complex and demanding.

It was particularly pleasing to be part of a delivery team that consisted of advisers solely from the East Midlands; it showed the strength in depth and expertise in the region. The partnership and understanding between Clowes’ internal team and the professional team was key to delivering this landmark transaction.”

Clowes Director James Richards commented;

“Heather has been one of our leading legal representatives for as long as I can remember. Her tenacity, dedication and diligent nature are just a few of the many reasons we return to Heather and her team of professionals at Geldards time and time again. A deal of this magnitude required a trusted team that we knew would deliver.”

Paul Shanley Clowes Director added:

“From agreeing Heads of terms to Exchanging on the deal, Geldards, particularly Heather Dixon, were instrumental in making it happen. We hit the ground running which set the pace for the deal ensuring it was completed in a relatively quick time. Add into the equation working through Covid conditions, Teams meeting were used to full effect providing more of a personal connection with all involved. Heather’s commercial acumen combined with her legal expertise always gives us confidence that we are in safe hands, backed up by a dedicated team assisting.”

The deal, Clowes Developments largest to date and a key part of NFU Mutual’s investment strategy, represents a key development in the increasingly critical logistics market in the region. The increase in on-line activity as a result of Covid and the ability to hold more stock are two factors driving demand, trends which look set to stay as supply chain resilience is the number one priority for the industry. As a result, organisations are transforming their business models from the long established “just-in-time” supply strategy to the shock resistant “just-in-case” model. Logistics is the one sector that has thrived during the pandemic accelerating the demand for new build schemes with the Midlands featuring strongly as a location of choice.

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