MEPC agrees sale of Granta Park to Biomed Realty


12-06-2012

MEPC has entered into a definitive agreement with BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: BMR) for the sale of Granta Park in Cambridge for around £127 million. The acquisition will see BioMed take control of 472,200 sq ft of space including 11 buildings at the park, which is home to some of the world’s foremost biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

MEPC has entered into a definitive agreement with BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: BMR) for the sale of Granta Park in Cambridge for around £127 million.  The acquisition will see BioMed take control of 472,200 sq ft of space including 11 buildings at the park, which is home to some of the world’s foremost biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. 

The sale is line with MEPC’s continuing strategy of releasing resources to focus on its large scale, mixed-use Estates.  Under MEPC’s management Granta Park has grown into a leading science park with 99.8% of units let.  Tenants include MedImmune, PPD Global, UCB Pharma and Vernalis (R&D).

Cambridge has become the premier centre for science in the UK and globally, and the success of Granta Park has been a significant contributor to accommodating many of Cambridge’s leading bio-pharma companies.  Granta Park is now a world class science park which offers a superb position within the heart of the Cambridge science cluster; it is on the right side of Cambridge for London and is in close proximity to the University of Cambridge, the Cavendish Laboratory, the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, the Sanger Institute and the Babraham Institute. 

Rick de Blaby, Chief Executive of MEPC said: “Granta Park has been very important to MEPC over the last decade as a leading contributor to our financial performance, and we are delighted that such a prestigious science park asset is passing on to a discerning investor. Our strategy is the continual development of our national portfolio of large mixed used Estates by means of recycling capital from the relatively stabilised and mature assets.  Focussing on the large mixed use Estates presents a huge opportunity for MEPC, as we know that we can drive sustained financial performance by applying our proven management style: focusing on customer care and developing an in-depth understanding of our occupiers’ needs.”

“With our strong cash position, MEPC is also well positioned to capitalise further upon bank deleveraging in the UK market and, with our established management platform, we will be seeking to acquire additional assets through the cycle.”

Commenting on the sale, James Dipple, Director at MEPC added: “Since its opening in 1998, we have successfully implemented our occupier focused management strategy to develop and grow Granta Park into the world-class science park it is today.  The sale of this robust asset is very much part of our ongoing strategy of releasing resources to focus on the development and success of other large-scale Estates.”

Commenting on BioMed Realty’s first international life science real estate investment, Alan D. Gold, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are extremely pleased and excited to announce our expansion of BioMed Realty’s best-in-class property portfolio with this investment in Cambridge, the premier life science cluster in the UK and arguable all of Europe.  The Cambridge market enjoys all of the critical elements that mark a strong, self-sustaining life science cluster, namely proximity to premier academic and research institutions, a highly skilled workforce, access to financial partners and a healthy portfolio of strong commercial life science organisations.”

Kent Griffin, President of BioMed Realty added: “Granta Park provides an excellent investment opportunity with very attractive return potential consistent with our core business strategy – focused on highest-quality real estate in core life science clusters and in close proximity to primary demand drivers, including leading research institutions. This recently developed, amenity-rich 11-building campus has attracted world-renowned life science research organisations and includes additional development potential, enabling us to support their continued growth and expansion.”

MEPC was advised during the agreement process by Jones Lang LaSalle on the investment sale, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP advised on corporate and tax law and BrookStreet des Roches on property law.

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BioMed Realty has been part of Cambridge's world-class life science community since the acquisition of Granta Park in 2012. Granta Park is a 477,230 square foot business estate in one of the most reconised areas for science success globally and is home to leading companies, including Sosei Heptares, Astrazeneca, Illumina, PPD Global, and One Nucleus.

BioMed Realty