AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets has marked its entry into the European life science real estate sector by acquiring Kadans Science Partner in a deal believed to be worth half a billion euros.

The €102bn real assets manager said, on behalf of clients, it has agreed to buy Kadans from funds advised by Oaktree Capital Management.

Kadans owns a portfolio of 20 science parks and lab offices across the Netherlands, UK and Germany and has a further seven developments in the pipeline.

The deal gives AXA IM - Real Assets exposure and scale into the European life science and lab offices real estate, which is an emerging but high growth asset class in Europe.

IPE Real Assets understands that AXA IM - Real Assets acquired Kadans for about €500m.

John O’Driscoll, head of European transactions at AXA IM - Real Assets, said this is a significant transaction for AXA IM - Real Assets as it allows us to enter a high conviction sector at scale.

“Kadans is a clear market leader in the life science and lab offices sector and the acquisition provides us with a unique opportunity to access a fully integrated platform comprising an existing operational portfolio and an extensive development pipeline together with a management team with unrivalled operational expertise.”

O’Driscoll said the acquisition is also in line with the company’s wider strategy of seeking investments which both contribute to the health of society and provide clients with sustainable and growing income returns.

“We are firm believers in the huge potential of a private equity model which marries long term investment capital with operational platforms and highly ambitious management teams who want to operate beyond the constraints of short term investments horizons.”

Michel Leemhuis, CEO at Kadans Science Partner, said: ” We are grateful to Oaktree for the support over the past three years and are very happy to expand our mission alongside AXA IM - Real Assets, whose extensive network and local presence in most European countries gives us the opportunity to strengthen our leading position in the European market for life science and lab offices.”

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