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News Feb 27, 2015

Shearman & Sterling Advises Qatar Holding on Purchase of Entire Porta Nuova District in Milan

Shearman & Sterling advised Qatar Holding LLC (“Qatar Holding”) on three separate unit sale and purchase agreements setting forth the terms for the purchase of all of the outstanding units in the three Italian speculative closed-end real estate investment funds (the “Porta Nuova Funds”) named Porta Nuova Garibaldi, Porta Nuova Varesine and Porta Nuova Isola, each of which own a part of the Porta Nuova real estate project in Milan, Italy. Porta Nuova is one of the most prestigious real estate projects in Europe, with a market value in excess of €2 billion. The Porta Nuova Funds are managed by Hines Italia SGR S.p.A., an Italian investment manager that is part of the Hines Group.

In June 2013 Qatar Holding—advised by Shearman & Sterling—subscribed for new units of such funds, acquiring an ownership interest of approximately 40%, while the remaining interest—to be sold in the transaction—are owned by the current sponsors, including Hines European Development Fund and Unipol Group, the second largest Italian insurance company.

As result of the most recent transaction on Feb. 17, Qatar Holding will become the sole investor in each of the Porta Nuova Funds.

Qatar Holding, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority, is a global investment institution and a preferred partner of choice for investors, financiers and other stakeholders. Key investments of Qatar Holding include Agricultural Bank of China, Barclays plc, Canary Wharf Group (via Songbird Estates), Costa Smeralda resorts, Credit Suisse Group, Harrods Group, Hassad Food Company, Iberdrola SA, J Sainsbury plc, London Stock Exchange, Lagardere, Porsche, Qatar Exchange, Qatar Telecom, Qatar national Bank and Santander Brasil and Volkswagen AG.

The Porta Nuova project transformed the city of Milan by creating a new central district, representing Italy's most significant urban redevelopment project to date. Extending over a surface of more than 290,000 square meters, the Porta Nuova project reconnected and enhanced three different neighborhoods through a pedestrian zone of over 160,000 square meters, with cycle paths, urban infrastructure and a 90,000 square meters large public park. The integration of residential apartments, offices and retail spaces—all with the highest quality and energy standards—makes Porta Nuova a unique example of an eco-sustainable and mixed-use urban environment in Italy.

The Shearman & Sterling team included partner Domenico Fanuele (Milan/Rome-Mergers & Acquisitions), counsel Emanuele Trucco (Milan-Mergers & Acquisitions) and associate Giovanni Cirelli (Rome-Mergers & Acquisitions).