Yorkshire law firm Gordons advises Morrisons on multi-million pound purchase of 920,000 sq ft distribution centre in Kent

Monday 20th October 2008

In one of the biggest property deals of the year Yorkshire law firm Gordons has acted for Bradford-based supermarket giant Morrisons on the company’s multi-million pound purchase of a 920,000 sq ft eco-friendly distribution centre at G Park in Sittingbourne, Kent.

Morrisons had originally agreed to lease the building in a deal which would have been one of the largest ever pre-lets in the South East. However, when it became apparent that the building’s developers and owners – logistics space provider Gazeley and global property investor Standard Life Investments – were seeking to sell the investment, Morrisons decided to act quickly to purchase the development.

While Gordons acted for Morrisons, City firms Herbert Smith and SJ Berwin represented Standard Life Investments and Gazeley respectively. Working closely together, the three firms managed to complete the complicated deal in less than one week.

James Brook, development surveyor at Morrisons, said: “When the opportunity to purchase the development arose we had to act very quickly to secure the deal. Gordons were highly responsive and put huge effort into the project on our behalf which enabled us to achieve the agreed timescale. Their understanding of our business was invaluable.

“This major new facility will enable us to better service our growing business. As one of the UK’s leading supermarket chains it is important that we continually develop our infrastructure to enable us to deliver exceptional service to our customers.”

Located close to the M2 motorway, the site will improve transport efficiency to up to 65 Morrisons stores across the South East and will result in 22 million fewer kilometres being travelled per annum – equivalent to 2.6m kg of CO2 per year. A number of innovative environmentally friendly technologies will be incorporated into the site including rain water harvesting, recycling of supplier packaging, energy efficient lighting and low water use appliances.

Paul Ayre, Gordons’ managing partner, led his firm’s team on the deal.