K&L Gates Advises Orica on AU$260 Million Deer Park Divestment

13 Maret 2024

Global law firm K&L Gates has acted for Orica on the divestment of Stage 1 of Orica’s 130 hectare industrial, logistics, and commercial development site at Deer Park, Victoria.

The AU$260 million sale transferred approximately 66 hectares of surplus land (around half of Orica’s total surplus land holdings at Deer Park, Victoria) to an investment vehicle for superannuation fund, UniSuper.

Remediation of pre-existing contamination, subdivision, and commitment to delivery of a package of infrastructure works suitable to facilitate the development of Stage 1 and future stages of the site, were among the complex pre-conditions to completion and financial closing involved in this transaction.

The deal also involved negotiation of innovative arrangements to deliver over AU$28 million of infrastructure works and an upfront fully released capital payment along with provision for escalation of the balance payment to prevent erosion of value by any delays.  

The Orica Deer Park site is one of the largest and best located commercial and industrial development sites in the Melbourne market and will be utilised for a high quality master planned precinct. 

The K&L Gates team that advised Orica was led by Melbourne-based Real Estate partner, Randall Gerkens, supported by the K&L Gates Melbourne Real Estate team, and Duty and Indirect Tax partner, Matthew Cridland.

Peter Hutchins, Chief Executive of Charter Keck Cramer, commercial advisers on the transaction, said: “The requirements for partial upfront capital release and preservation of the deal value (despite subdivision delays) really pushed the envelope. The expertise, attentiveness and dedication of Randall and the K&L Gates team were instrumental in achieving our commercial goals through the process.” 

Gerkens stated: “It’s been great to be able to assist Orica to realise part of the value of this well located site. The site’s history and the need to navigate the subdivision and remediation issues as well as deliver on Orica’s commercial objectives meant we faced a series of challenges through the process, but Orica’s internal team (legal, property and remediation in particular) along with commercial adviser, Charter Keck Cramer, always worked seamlessly with us to achieve the best possible results.”