Deal volumes in the real estate sector increased again during 2018, while total deal value dropped by almost 20%. Transactions pursued by REITs and private equity firms provided a boost to overall deal activity.

Recent mega-deals in the sector showed confidence in the shopping mall segment as investors sought properties that could be repurposed, while Chinese buyers maintained their interest in Western properties, especially within Europe. At the same time, institutional investors looked to potentially higher yields provided by real estate, in contrast to disappointing results from fixed-income and equity investments.

Our Real Estate sector group launched its global Real Estate Radar at MIPIM, the world's largest property conference, highlighting key legal changes in a variety of international jurisdictions. At Expo Real in Munich, we launched our new Exploring Europe guide summarizing the legal and practical issues to consider when investing in, or relocating to, major European jurisdictions.

Our inaugural PropTech event, held in London, focused on how technology is transforming the industry.  We also published thought leadership on blockchain and the tokenization of real estate assets, cybersecurity, and smart buildings.

GLL Real Estate

We advised the shareholders of GLL Real Estate Partners GmbH, a Munich-based real estate fund manager, on its sale to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

The GLL Group is a global operator of real estate funds with assets under management of around €7bn. This transaction has enhanced Macquarie’s offering for real estate investment funds across Europe and the Americas.

An M&A team from our Munich office led this transaction, supported by lawyers from our offices across Germany and Luxembourg and our antitrust, employment, finance, real estate, regulatory, and tax practices.

Greystar

We advised Greystar Real Estate Partners, a leading multifamily real estate investment trust, on its all-cash US$4.6bn acquisition of EdR, one of the largest owners, developers, and managers of collegiate housing in the United States.

This transaction establishes Greystar as the second largest institutional owner and manager of student housing in the United States.

An M&A team from our Washington, D.C. office led this transaction, with support from lawyers in our antitrust, employee benefits, environment, finance, real estate, regulatory, and tax practices.

Ivanhoé Cambridge

We advised Ivanhoé Cambridge on its approximately US$3bn joint acquisition with Blackstone Property Partners of Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust, which owns and operates industrial properties in North America.

This is one of a series of high-value joint venture investments between Ivanhoé Cambridge and Blackstone. They also jointly acquired Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village — 2015’s largest single-asset real estate acquisition in the United States.

An M&A team from our New York and Washington, D.C. offices led these transactions, with support from lawyers in our Denver office.

Prologis

We advised Prologis, Inc., a global leader in logistics real estate, on the sale of a US$1.1bn high-quality portfolio of properties in Europe and the United States to a major Asian property company.

This transaction effectively completed Prologis’ portfolio realignment program, which began in 2011 and upon completion in 2018 totaled approximately US$14bn of building sales on an owned and managed basis.

An M&A team from our Washington, D.C., London, and Denver offices led this deal,with support from lawyers in our real estate and tax practices across Europe and North America.

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