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Farella Braun + Martel Represents The Swig Company in Purchase of Oakland’s Kaiser Center

June 17, 2005 Press Release

San Francisco, CA (June 17, 2005) – Farella Braun + Martel announced today it has completed a major deal on behalf of The Swig Company, a privately owned real estate investment and management company based in San Francisco.   Led by Farella Braun + Martel partner Tony Ratner, The Swig Company has purchased the prestigious Kaiser Center in Oakland, CA, from Summit Commercial Properties and Highridge Partners.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Farella Braun + Martel team included partner Matt Lewis and Associate Eric Stephens of the Business Transactions department, as well as Brian Donnelly of the Tax group.

“We are very happy to have been a part of this transaction,” said Ratner.   “We were blessed to be working with a client that has a management team comprised of wonderful people with phenomenal skills.   They got us involved early on; and we worked closely throughout the course of the transaction.  As a result, we were able to chart our way through the structuring of ownership entities, extensive documentation and multitude of parties without the usual headaches and hiccups encountered on deals this size.  It was truly a team effort.”

The acquisition was sourced by The Swig Company, and completed through a joint venture between affiliates of The Swig Company and Swig Investment Company and GMAC Institutional Advisors.   GMAC Commercial Mortgage, through its proprietary lending group, also provided $147 million in fixed-rate financing for the acquisition.  The Swig Company will be the operating partner of the new venture. 

The 900,000-plus square foot mixed-use complex overlooking Lake Merritt has long been one of Oakland’s premier addresses.  The property consists of three structures, including: the Kaiser Center I office building, a landmark high-rise tower containing 784,689 square feet; Kaiser Center II, a mixed-use, 128,730 square foot retail/office building; and a five-story, 1,339-stall parking garage designed to service the two office assets. 

“This investment represents sane pricing with a decent return,” said Jeanne Myerson, The Swig Company’s Chief Executive Officer.   “The deal is based on rents at or below market, and offers some redevelopment potential, along with a new development option on a portion of the site.” 

Tenants in the center include the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority (BART) with well over 300,000 square feet; the University of California Regents with more than 152,774 square feet; the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan with more than 75,000 square feet; and California Bank & Trust, with in excess of 45,000 square feet.

About Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Since its founding in 1962, Farella Braun + Martel has achieved a national reputation for the acumen of its business practice, the high profile cases of its complex commercial litigation practice and its prestigious client base. The San Francisco-based firm serves a diverse group of clients from multinational corporations to emerging businesses. The firm also has an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry and related businesses. 

Farella Braun + Martel’s Real Estate Department has handled the acquisition and disposition of billions of dollars worth of commercial properties in Northern California. Many of these transactions required the creation of sophisticated ownership structures, ground leases, tax planning, complex financing arrangements, and the resolution of significant environmental issues.  Our Real Estate Department represents a full range of clients active in the real estate industry, including developers, public REITs, investors, lenders, vintners, hoteliers and asset managers.

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