Feature Legal — 30 July 2018

Hogan Lovells has advised Championship football club Aston Villa FC on the real estate aspects of investment in the club by NSWE through an undisclosed capital injection, approved by the English Football League (EFL) on Friday.

NSWE is jointly owned and controlled by billionaire businessmen Wes Edens, co-owner of the U.S. Milwaukee Bucks NBA franchise, and Nassef Sawiris, CEO of OCI and Orascom Construction, through his group NNS.

The investment will contribute to Aston Villa’s Premiership promotion campaign as the EFL kicks off on 3 August. Established in 1874, Aston Villa was one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888 and is a seven-time winner of the FA Cup.

The Hogan Lovells real estate team advising was led out of the firm’s Birmingham office by senior associate Mohammed Alam and supported by associate Anna Crabbe.

Mohammed Alam

Commenting, Mohammed said:

“It’s great to be working with Aston Villa FC, a client at the heart of our local Birmingham community, as part of the extended “team” to support the club in its ambitions. I can safely say I’ll be monitoring the club’s progress with interest this season, on and off the pitch.”

Dr Xia, owner since 2016 and now co-chairman of Aston Villa FC, said of the transaction:

“We have a common goal of delivering future success for Aston Villa and I look forward to working together to achieve this aim.”

Hogan Lovells opened in Birmingham in December 2014 and since then has increased fivefold in size, from 10 to 55 people, recently moving to expanded premises in the Colmore Building.  Investing in new talent as well as space is key for the firm, having welcomed Mohammed along with senior associate Saad Amjad, and associate Anna Crabbe to the real estate team; and associate Karolina Stein in real estate finance, in the last six months.

Also in the EFL, led by UK Head of Hogan Lovells real estate practice partner Daniel Norris, the firm is advising AFC Wimbledon, a client since 2001, on a new stadium that will see the return of the club to its original home – Plough Lane, Wimbledon – for the 2019/2020 season.

Hogan Lovells worked alongside Squire Patton Boggs on the transaction.

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