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MORRISON & FOERSTER FURTHER BUILDS OUT GLOBAL PRIVATE INVESTMENT FUNDS PRACTICE WITH NEW PARTNER IN LONDON

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MORRISON & FOERSTER FURTHER BUILDS OUT GLOBAL PRIVATE INVESTMENT FUNDS PRACTICE WITH NEW PARTNER IN LONDON

Addition of Rob Mailer also highlights continued growth of the firm’s corporate group in London following other recent partner hires

Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce that Rob Mailer has joined the firm’s London office as a partner in its Corporate Group. He brings to the firm strong expertise in fund formation and fund management. His joining Morrison & Foerster also further builds on the recent expansion of the firm’s global private investment funds practice in London, the U.S. and Hong Kong, and strengthens its corporate group in London following a number of other partner hires.

Mr. Mailer represents both fund sponsors and investors across a broad range of strategies, including growth, venture capital, infrastructure, buy-out and debt funds. He regularly acts on carried interest schemes, structuring co-investments, spin outs and the establishment of new fund managers. Mr. Mailer’s practice spans a wide range of sectors, including finance, technology, emerging markets and infrastructure. He has a particular interest in high-growth and scale-up businesses.

Paul Friedman, Morrison & Foerster’s managing partner for Europe, commented: “Rob is the second funds partner in just over six months to become part of our London office following the recent arrival of Oliver Rochman. Rob is another high-caliber addition to our London corporate team, further building on the significant momentum we have generated over the past 18 months. I am delighted that since coming to the firm, he has already advised on the spin out of new fund manager Oxx Ltd.”

Graeme Sloan, global co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s M&A practice and head of the firm’s London corporate practice, added: “Rob’s arrival significantly enhances the firm’s ability to advise sponsors and investors in both London and the rest of EMEA. I am also pleased that Rob is the second private investment funds partner to join the firm this year, following the recent arrival of Serena Tan in Hong Kong.”

Mr. Mailer’s recent notable transactions include acting for Apis Partners on structuring and raising their first private equity fund, Apis Growth Fund I, a growth fund targeting fintech and other financial services opportunities in Africa and South Asia in particular, representing Lonsdale Capital Partners on their first mid-market buyout fund, and advising Seedcamp on a property tech venture, having advised on the raising of Seedcamp III and set up of Seedcamp Investment Management LLP. From 2007 until 2016, he also advised the British Business Bank on various sponsor investments including its VC Catalyst and Enterprise Capital Fund programmes.

“I am delighted to have come to Morrison &Foerster and to be working closely with Oliver Rochman and other members of the global private investment funds practice to build out the London fund formation practice,” Mr. Mailer said. “The growing corporate platform the firm has developed in London was a big driver in me choosing to join Morrison & Foerster.”

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Britain’s Heathrow sinks to $2.8 billion loss during pandemic

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Britain's Heathrow sinks to $2.8 billion loss during pandemic 1

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Heathrow Airport plunged to a 2 billion pound ($2.8 billion) annual loss after passenger numbers collapsed to levels last seen in the 1970s during the pandemic.

Heathrow called on the government to agree a common international travel standard to allow passengers to start flying again in the summer and to provide business tax breaks for airports to help them ride out the crisis.

The airport, west of London, is hopeful that travel markets will reopen from mid-May after a government announcement on easing lockdown on Monday.

Still Britain’s biggest airport, Heathrow last year lost its title as the busiest in Europe to Paris as its flight schedules contracted more than its rival’s.

The airport said on Wednesday that during 2020 passenger numbers shrunk 73% to 22 million people, with half of those people having travelled during January and February before COVID-19 shut down global travel.

The airport sunk to a 2 billion loss before tax on revenues which were down 62% to 1.18 billion pounds, but Heathrow said it had 3.9 billion pounds of liquidity and that could keep it going until 2023.

The airport is owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp, among others.

($1 = 0.7044 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and James Davey)

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Strong exports, construction boost German economy in fourth quarter

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Strong exports, construction boost German economy in fourth quarter 2

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bullish exports and solid construction activity helped the German economy to grow by a stronger-than-expected 0.3% in the final quarter of last year, the Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday, revising an earlier estimate.

The office, which previously had reported a 0.1% expansion on the quarter from October to December, said it also revised upward its 2020 full-year GDP figure for Europe’s largest economy to -4.9% from -5.0%.

Adjusted for calendar effects, the economy last year shrank by 5.3%, which was a much smaller contraction than many other European countries recorded, mainly due to a strong fiscal response of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The debt-financed fiscal splurge created an overall state budget deficit of 139.6 billion euros or 4.2% of gross domestic product in 2020, the office said. This was the first deficit since 2011 and the second-highest since German reunification.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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UK’s Sunak could extend stamp duty holiday until June-end – The Times

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UK's Sunak could extend stamp duty holiday until June-end - The Times 3

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak is preparing to extend the stamp duty holiday by three months until the end of June in an attempt to boost activity in the housing market as the country emerges from lockdown, The Times reported on Wednesday.

The extension to the policy, which covers sales of properties worth up to 500,000 pounds ($708,100), could cost the government 1 billion pounds, the report https://bit.ly/3sglJoS added.

Britain raised the threshold of property tax to 500,000 pounds last July from 125,000 pounds, exempting nine of 10 people buying a main home from stamp duty. The temporary cuts are set to expire in March 2021.

Sunak will use his annual budget on March 3 to move the policy to the end of June, bringing it in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions, the newspaper said.

He will also announce plans to raise corporation tax while Treasury officials are considering a 25% tax hike.

Sunak said on Tuesday that he would set out more details of job support measures at his budget next week, after official figures showed unemployment had risen to its highest since early 2016.

($1 = 0.7061 pounds)

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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