Our real estate team has advised private pension fund provider, Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), on its £300 million acquisition of the real estate assets of Butlin's.
The pension fund acquired the underlying real estate interest of the holiday resort operator's sites at Skegness, Minehead and Bognor Regis through its in-house private markets team at USS Investment Management (USSIM), representing a long-term investment for USS. The ground rent deal will not impact Butlin's day-to-day operations or ownership.
Gowling WLG advised USS on all aspects of the transaction including tax and structuring.
The team that worked on the project was led by partner Dan Gwilliam with support from partners Philip Baker (Construction), Clive Chalkley (Real Estate), Lee Nuttall (Tax) and Ben Stansfield (Environmental), and legal directors Tim Sharp (Planning) and Ian Shepherd (Construction). Principal associates Laura Nation (Planning), Rebekah Davies (Real Estate), Hannah Daeche (Construction) and Mike Sweeney (Tax), senior associates Zoe Johnston (Real Estate) and Emma Brown (Real Estate) and associate Laura Harris (Real Estate) were also involved in the deal.
Dan Gwilliam, Real Estate partner at Gowling WLG, said: "We're delighted to have worked with our client USS on accomplishing this excellent result which will help them to achieve significant income for the pension fund. This deal represents the company's commitment to providing long-term security for their investors. With the recent rise in people choosing to staycation this will be a great investment for our client."
Mike Powell, head of private markets group at USSIM, said: "Butlin's is a much-loved British institution, and this acquisition represents a significant investment in its future whilst providing the long-term cashflows that USS needs to pay the pensions promised to our members."