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15 July 2016

Charles Russell Speechlys advises Ekistics Real Estate Partners I on divestment of the Mowbray Court Hotel

Charles Russell Speechlys has advised Ekistics Real Estate Partners I (“Ekistics”) on its successful divestiture of the Mowbray Court Hotel, a limited-service, three-star budget hotel and the leading asset of its kind located in Earls Court, London, to an experienced Middle Eastern hospitality group.

Ekistics is a real estate private equity fund mandated to invest in direct equity, intermediate capital and debt opportunities in Western Europe with a focus on the generation of a consistent return profile, and downside protection, across property cycles.

The transaction was completed in the challenging market environment arising out of the UK referendum result and represents the sixth successful investment realisation for Ekistics.

Ekistics acquired the Mowbray Court Hotel in an off-market transaction in January 2014 and carried out a comprehensive refurbishment and repositioning program which comprised the full strip-out, modernisation, rebuilding and redecoration of the interior of the hotel, as well as expansion of its floorplates and an increase in its total room count from 89 to 138 tradeable rooms.

Ekistics’ quantitative and research-oriented analysis of proprietary local trading data for selected comparable Earls Court budget hotels combined with obtaining three separate planning approvals for the hotel enabled it to deliver back to the market the leading hotel of its type in London in terms of both its trading efficiency and fit-out quality.

Charles Russell Speechlys advised Ekistics both on the acquisition and disposal of the hotel and all the related tax structuring, hotel management and development agreements. Andrew Clarke commented “we are delighted to have assisted Ekistics Real Estate Partners I with this hotel disposal. In 2010, we advised the fund on its establishment and structuring and, since then, we have worked with the fund on a range of investment transactions from debt finance to asset acquisitions and disposals with an aggregate value in excess of £150m. ”

John Pedersen, Managing Partner of Ekistics Property Advisors LLP, comments: “ We are pleased to have worked alongside Charles Russell Speechlys on this investment from its inception to its completion and along the many intermediate steps in between. This project underlines Ekistics’ ability to originate attractive investments and execute complex, transformational business plans across numerous asset classes as well as across the entire capital structure. Moreover, the successful completion of this project highlights the team’s capability to originate opportunistic, value-add investments, delivering back to market assets with strong, cross-investor appeal. We believe this to be essential to delivering consistent investment returns in today’s uncertain environment. We are very grateful to Andrew and the team at Charles Russell Speechlys who provided Ekistics with excellent advice across a range of legal issues, a transaction such as this requires a multi-disciplinary approach from a number of legal experts, and I am very confident that Charles Russell Speechlys does that with maximum efficiency for our investors.

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys was led by Corporate Partner Andrew Clarke and was assisted by Charlie Ring and Julia Chan (Corporate) Real Estate Partner Robin Grove, Senior Associate, James Worthington (Construction), and Corporate Tax Partner James Meakin and Associate Helen Coward (Tax).