Whilst economic conditions, access to capital, the need for modern infrastructure and other issues present challenges to be overcome, investment opportunities in key locations, the acceleration of sport as a business, ongoing appetite for gaming and other leisure pursuits continue to bring opportunity for companies and investors in the leisure sector. BLP has a long track record in helping businesses across the diverse spectrum of leisure-related industries to address their legal needs. Industries such as hotels, sport, betting and gaming are key areas of expertise and focus for BLP, and clients across the sector continue to rely on our lawyers to help them take advantage of opportunities and protect their interests.
Our team members have served hundreds of companies, financial institutions active throughout the wider leisure industry. Just some examples of our experience and expertise include:
The acquisition of the 378 room Hilton London Docklands from Pandox for HIG Capital.
The development, branding and operation of a luxury hotel and residences in Knightsbridge London for Bulgari and Marriott, under the Bulgari brand.
The £380m refinancing of a mixed portfolio, including two major London hotels - the Marriott West India Quay and the Four Seasons Canary Wharf for Yianis Group. Also on a further refinancing of mixed assets, including a regional UK hotel. BLP also advised the Group on a development agreement and lease with Grosvenor Casinos Limited, a subsidiary of The Rank Group, for the installation of a new generation casino at the Palace Hotel, Southend.
The property aspects of Moto Hospitality Limited’s 2011 refinancing for £450m and its 2015 refinancing for £445m. Worked over many years on their acquisition, development, site management and financing work. Examples are the acquisition and development of the Reading, Stafford, Donington and most recently Wetherby Motorway Service Areas, the latter being a “green” development incorporating a hotel operating under “green” lease clauses.
The 2015 acquisitions of Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Chester; Blackstone’s UK Regional Mint portfolio of five hotels; the Ramada Hotels in Birmingham and Salford Quays; and the Indigo Hotel in Liverpool for Marathon Asset Management.
The acquisition of the leasehold interests in The Park Lane Hotel and granting of a long term management agreement to Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc for the hotel to be operated as part of the Sheraton brand for Sir Richard Sutton Settled Estates.
The negotiation of hotel management agreements for several projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including with Hard Rock Hotels, Swissotel and Park Inn for Aabar Properties, a major UAE based investor.
Acted for a lender on a large amount of broadcast receivables financing work involving football clubs in Spain and Germany. The Spanish transactions are structured differently to those with football clubs in England, involving our client acquiring the rights to the future broadcast payments by forward funding the amounts at a discounted rate. The payments flow from various broadcasters in Spain and involves taking into account the complex structure of the nature of TV rights in Spain. The team also acts on player transfer instalment financings, involving some of the largest transactions in world football.
Our team regularly advise between six to eight Premier League clubs and a similar number in La Liga and other international leagues. We act on a large amount of receivables financing work which can be worth anything from £65 - £120 million to each Premier League club per year and will increase in 2016/2017 when a new broadcast rights deal comes into play. BLP drafts and agrees the various legal documents with the Clubs and liaises with their other lenders and the Premier League, who have to consent to the documentation required for such transactions.