On Tuesday 31st March 2020, U+I announced that it sold its 25% stake in Harwell Campus to Brookfield Asset Management, which will become the private shareholder partner of the public/private joint venture that manages and develops the site.
The acquisition comes at a critical time for the UK economy and property market, with many transactions being put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. The deal will accelerate the expansion of Harwell’s unique real estate portfolio, comprising flexible hybrid offices, laboratories and advanced manufacturing facilities, ultimately fast tracking the delivery of a 5million sq ft masterplan and consolidating Harwell as the fastest growing site dedicated to science and technology in the UK.
Matthew Weiner, Chief Executive, U+I said: “Brookfield has a trusted reputation for nurturing and growing assets in the real estate sector. We felt they were the right choice to drive the next stage of growth at this internationally renowned innovation and science campus in the Oxford corridor, giving Harwell the capital commitment it needs to unlock its potential for the future as a hub for pioneering research. With such strong demand for science and research led facilities, it was the right time for U+I to sell its share in the joint venture, which also provides a significant cash injection that further strengthens U+I’s balance sheet.”
Eastdil Secured acted as financial advisor to U+I Plc and Harwell Oxford Partners Ltd on the transaction. Savills Capital Advisors Ltd acted as advisor to Brookfield on the transaction. Harwell Oxford Partners were advised by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner on legal matters.