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L&G acquires Renaissance Villages from Helical


Legal & General has acquired a later living business called Renaissance Villages (RV) for a net purchase price of around GBP51 million from Helical.

The business will be integrated into Inspired Villages Group, a best in class operator and developer of later living accommodation, which Legal & General acquired in August this year. 
 
Arranged over four village schemes, located in Warwickshire, West Sussex, Devon and Hampshire, the RV business comprises of around 700 homes, of which over half are already sold and occupied, with the remainder ready for sale or under construction. When combined, this brings Inspired Villages Group’s development portfolio to around 1,000 homes. 
 
Inspired Villages Group will continue to seek to acquire several land sites per year. 
 
Following this ‘non-core’ sale, Helical’s focus will remain on high-quality London and Manchester offices and the logistics sector.
 
Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, says: "This acquisition is another terrific example of Legal & General using its long term capital to address chronic market failures, by investing in a sector that delivers high social and economic impact to our society. The UK is under increasing economic strain as populations expand and demand for housing increases. Later Living offers industrial scale reductions in health and care costs to the elderly through prevention and avoidance; we see this housing sector as one of the most underserved in the UK and look forward to the Government engaging in positive public policy changes that help to support us in addressing this need.”
 
Phil Bayliss, Head of Later Living at Legal & General Capital, says: “Due to a scarcity of existing stock in the UK’s later living housing market, the main path to scaling our business is through organic growth. Accelerating our business plan by several years, alongside our land acquisition targets, this acquisition provides us with the immediate critical mass to substantially expand resourcing and growth to become the market leader in the later living market. Enhancing our offer, it provides several mature, complementary schemes and additional experienced operational resources.” 
 
Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, comments: “This acquisition provides us with further high quality schemes of a similar size and operational model to our existing and planned communities. Built around central facilities, they are priced for a wide target market and offer an aspirational lifestyle focused on wellness.
 
“Inspired Villages offers a fantastic alternative for our ageing population who currently live in under-occupied, isolated or unsuitable properties, providing quality, well designed and serviced later living accommodation that has been proven to cut associated health costs in the elderly by around 50%. Inspired Villages offers baby boomers more choice. Essentially this is about the freedom and independence that comes from living in safe, age-appropriate housing as part of a community, while exploring a new phase of life without any of the maintenance burdens and with access to new interests and activities. 
 
“This acquisition now allows us to bring forward our plans to create much needed change to the way our ageing population live. It will also enable a number of key strategic hires to our growing senior management team.”
  
Gerald Kaye, CEO of Helical, says: “Whilst we have generated good profits in the past from our retirement village portfolio we firmly believe that now is the right time to sell our interests, reduce our gearing and focus solely on our core sectors where we expect to be able to generate stronger Shareholder returns in the future.”
 

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