Legal & General buys 'later-living' residential business from Helical

Legal & General has acquired a ‘later-living’ residential business from Helical, increasing the size of the UK insurer’s investment in different forms of housing in the UK.

L&G said it will buy Renaissance Villages for a net purchase price of around £51m (€57.1m) from Helical, a London listed property investor.

The acquired business will be integrated into Inspired Villages Group, an operator and developer of later living accommodation, which Legal & General acquired in August this year.

L&G said the acquisition of Renaissance Villages allows it to accelerate its later-living investment strategy by several years, both in terms of housing delivery and operational skills.

Arranged over four village schemes, located in Warwickshire, West Sussex, Devon and Hampshire, Renaissance Villages comprises around 700 homes, of which over half are already sold and occupied, and the remainder ready for sale or under construction.

Combined, it brings Inspired Villages Group’s development portfolio to around 1,000 homes.

L&G said Inspired Villages Group will continue to seek to acquire several land sites per year.

Nigel Wilson, CEO of L&G, said: “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 L&G Capital, said: “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.”

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