AXA IM Alts is making its first investment in the UK film and television studios sector with the acquisition of the BBC Elstree Centre in London.

The global manager, investing on behalf of clients, has agreed to acquire the 16-acre campus in northwest London in a deal that involves the BBC leasing back part of the studio campus for 25 years.

IPE Real Assets understands that the BBC Elstree Centre in Borehamwood was sold for around £70m (€81.3m).

The campus comprises seven stages and currently includes workshop, office and post-production facilities.

AXA IM Alts said the facilities present an opportunity for brownfield redevelopment to deliver a new studio campus, with filming and production space.

The BBC Elstree Centre transaction represents the first film studio deal for AXA IM Alts in the UK and follows the manager’s acquisition of the Bry-sur-Marne studios in France in June last year, a deal that marked the asset manager’s entry into a sector being targeted by real estate investors scouring for opportunities in an increasingly competitive market.

John O’Driscoll, global co-head of real estate at AXA IM Alts, said: “With the signing of BBC Elstree Centre we will be acquiring one of the oldest working TV & film studios in the UK, with a history dating back almost 110 years. The structure of the transaction allows the BBC to continue its production on the site for at least another 25 years, while providing us with the opportunity to invest in the site to create new world class studios.”

O’Driscoll said that the TV & film studios sector remains one of ”our conviction asset classes, being underpinned by increasing demand” from an ever-broader array of production houses, content creators and broadcasters.

”This is coupled with very limited supply of high-quality modern film and production space, particularly in and around London where new construction is hindered by a lack of available land in the right locations.”

To read the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here