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Oxford Technology Park acquisition provides major boost for region's life sciences sector

By Stephen Emerson
16 May 2022
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Oxfordshire's chronic shortage of life sciences space will be eased following the acquisition and of Oxford Technology Park.

Life Science REIT, the real estate investment trust focused on UK life science properties, has
announced that it has acquired Oxford Technology Park (OTP) in a deal that could reach up to £183m.

The 20 acre science and technology park which, once fully developed, will comprise up to 450,000 sq ft of mixed-use life science space and amenity assets.

READ MORE: Oxford life sciences cluster to gain new office and lab facility

The park, the first buildings of which have already been completed, is located less than 2 miles from Oxford University's Begbroke Science Park campus, 7 miles north of Oxford city centre and adjacent to Oxford Airport.

OTP was acquired for a purchase price of £120.3m from Angus and Alicia Bates, who have owned and developed the park since 2007.

Simon Farnsworth, managing director of Ironstone Asset Management Ltd, the Company's Investment Adviser, said:

"There is virtually no new supply of this type, size and quality of space in the Oxford catchment and we are delighted to have secured such an important and strategic asset of scale for our shareholders. It has been great to work with Angus and his team whose vision and hard work has resulted in this opportunity to provide state of the art space for new and established businesses in the area. We look forward to creating a thriving hub of innovation in this perfectly situated asset for the rapidly growing Oxford life science community."

READ MORE: Crippling shortages of lab space are curbing the UK's scientific ambitions

The acquisition includes OTP's debt of £33.8m and Life Science REIT will also provide up to £62.7m of forward funding to complete the park's construction.

The park will provide flexibility for the laboratory, production and office uses required for life science companies with unit sizes ranging from 6,000-50,000 sq ft.

Headline rents are £16-20 per sq ft for hybrid space and £28 per sq ft for offices, which reflects a net initial yield on purchase of 4.75%.

The first two of OTP's 11 units are already complete with one fully let to LGC's The Native Antigen Company (TNAC), a supplier of high-quality infectious disease reagents.

Five further units are due to be completed during 2022 and the final four units during 2023. The acquisition also includes a completed hotel, let to leading provider Premier Inn until 2045.

The deal has been funded by the processed Life Science REIT's IPO which have now been fully invested in seven transactions at a total acquisition value of £383m.

Angus Bates, CEO of the developer, Oxtec Developments Limited, said:

"Taking the vision to create OTP fifteen years ago through to the successful high-tech park that is now evolving has been challenging and hugely fulfilling, providing a unique product to the Oxford science community. We are thrilled to be handing the reins over to Life Science REIT and their experienced management team to take the park forward to the next stage."


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