Legal and Finance: Wragge Closes Deal for Japanese Bank

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Byline: John Duckers

Wragge & Co has closed its first deal for Japanese investment bank Nomura.

The firm's corporate and debt finance teams have advised Nomura on the pounds 245 million acquisition of the Earls Court and Olympia exhibition and conference centres along with Clarion Events.

St James Capital Group, a private property investment consortium, and Nomura have bought the Earls Court & Olympia Group from a group headed by Candover Investments and the Morris Family Trust. St James Capital will retain a majority and controlling interest.

Nomura's Asset Finance Group provided the entire debt finance and have also taken a minority equity stake in EC&O. Derek Vago, managing director and co-head of the asset finance group at Nomura, said: 'We worked for the first time with Wragge & Co in 2003 in tandem with one of our core City firms.

'We have been so impressed by the quality of their work that we have decided to use them 'solo' for major assignments and include them as one of our core law firms.'

Corporate partner Nick Smith led the Wragge & Co operation assisted by associates Adam Clarke, Julian Smith, William Brewis and solicitor Gareth Baker.

Partner and head of the debt finance team Chris Brierley, associate Jonathan Coane and solicitor Ian Ilersic worked closely with Nomura's debt team on structuring and documenting a complex multilayered syndicated debt package.

The transaction drew upon experts from across the firm including transaction services partner David Vaughan, tax partner Kevin Lowe, real estate partner Phil Clissit, HR consultant John Boyd, employment partner Andrew Hodge, pensions partner Richard Black and commercial partner David Lowe.

Mr Smith said: 'Advising a leading international investment bank on a complex and highprofile transaction is great work for the firm. …