BLP advises new mezzanine debt fund on IPO

Law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has advised Duet Real Estate Finance (Duet) on the Main Market Initial Public Offering (IPO) of its feeder fund, after advising on the establishment of the main fund in December 2009.

The IPO of the feeder fund is particularly significant, because it is the only UK-listed fund focused primarily on investing in mezzanine debt for European commercial real estate. It aims to raise €300m, including the £50m (approximately €57m) of equity upon admission to trading on the Main Market. 

This is the third fund that BLP has helped to list on the Main Market in the last 12 months. Others include advising GCP Infrastructure Fund on its IPO and advising Seymour Pierce on the IPO of PXP Vietnam Fund Limited.

Corporate finance partner Benjamin Lee led the BLP team advising Duet on its IPO, assisted by Richard Werner, Brian Mulkerrins and Oliver Swerdlow. Corporate tax partner Michael McKenna and senior associate Georgina James provided tax advice on the transaction.

Commenting on the transaction partner, Benjamin Lee said: “We are delighted to have assisted Duet with this important transaction. Being the only UK-listed real estate mezzanine debt fund gives our client access to a relatively untapped pool of investors. We have advised a number of yield funds recently on their London IPOs and it will be interesting to see if the trend towards yield funds listing continues over the coming months.”

Oriel Securities acted as financial adviser, sponsor and bookrunner on the IPO and was advised by law firm Lawrence Graham. Carey Olsen provided Guernsey law advice on the transaction.

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