February 02, 2022
Weil has been profiled by Law360 as a 2021 “Real Estate Practice Group of the Year” for advising on a number of high-profile real estate matters, including large and complex transactions, such as guiding MGM Resorts International on a $17.2 billion deal to sell MGM Growth Properties and advising Lendlease Americas Inc. on a $15 billion development project in California, among others.
Law360 noted that Weil advised MGM Resorts on six transactions in 2021. Philip Rosen, Co-Head of Weil’s Real Estate practice and Weil’s Infrastructure practice, said the various transactions MGM Resorts had announced in 2021 are together “an amazing achievement” for the company, which stands as a “role model” for other companies in the real estate sector. “It's amazing, because three of the largest transactions in gaming history were all done this year for MGM by Weil Gotshal,” Philip said.
Law360 highlighted the team’s achievements advising MGM Resorts in the sale of two Las Vegas properties – the Vdara Hotel and Spa and the Aria Resort & Casino – to Blackstone for $3.89 billion after spending roughly $2.15 billion to buy out its joint venture partner. Additionally, Law360 reported Weil advised MGM Resorts in a pending deal that’s worth about $5.65 billion in total, and as part of the deal MGM Resorts agreed to acquire the operations for the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from Blackstone Group for $1.625 billion and to lease the property for 30 years via a partnership with Stonepeak Partners, Cherng Family Trust and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust Inc.
In 2021, Weil’s Real Estate team also advised clients through three restructuring plans related to decreased in-person patronage due to the pandemic, serving as counsel to CBL & Associates Properties, 24 Hour Fitness and Chuck E. Cheese. Philip remarked, “We had a lot of clients come to us … that’s both fortuitous, but it’s also the fact we spent so many years developing this expertise that it became, ‘Let's go to Weil – makes all the sense in the world.’” “Once they view our multidimensional and multidisciplinary approach – meaning not just real estate … [but] our leadership in areas like private equity, M&A, restructuring and tax – once they see what we call 'the wow factor,' they come back for their big assignments and the ones that mean the world to them. And we are constantly expanding our practice because of that,” Philip added.
The article noted Weil is advising property developer Lendlease Americas Inc. in its plans to build new properties valued at $15 billion in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in a deal to develop a $650 million life sciences building in Massachusetts. Evan Levy, Co-Head of Weil’s Real Estate practice, noted Weil’s work for Lendlease has “expanded significantly” since the company turned to Weil three years ago to advise on its expansion of U.S-based real estate development and investment management platforms.
“For all these matters, when Lendlease was looking for lead counsel to help them in their strategic expansion in their real estate development investment management activities and platforms in the U.S., they came to us because we could deliver across specialties – real estate and finance and private equity and investment management and capital markets – and being able to deliver across disciplinary approaches will deliver their business goals and results,” Evan noted.