Magdalen College Oxford, owner of The Oxford Science Park (TOSP), one of the UK’s leading parks for science and technology companies, and an affiliate of Singapore wealth fund GIC have entered into a Strategic Partnership to accelerate the development of The Oxford Science Park.
GIC, a global long-term investor, is taking a 40 per cent stake in the Park for an undisclosed figure. Establishment of the partnership has accelerated a major multi-building development plan at TOSP to accommodate strong demand and future growth requirements of a range of world-leading science and technology companies.
While the sale price has not been disclosed, reports in some media earlier this year said that the 40 per cent stake was expected to reach around £100 million.
The Oxford Science Park was created in 1991. Currently more than 100 companies call The Oxford Science Park home, bringing 2,700 employees to the campus. Occupiers include Oxford Nanopore Technologies, which floated on the London Stock Exchange last week; Vaccitech, the company behind the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, Sensyne Health, Enara Bio, Excientia Blue Earth Diagnostics, MiroBio, OrganOx, OxSonics Therapeutics, OXGENE, ProImmune, Evox Therapeutics, Intuitive Surgical.and many others.
In August this year Exscientia, the clinical stage, artificial intelligence-driven pharmatech company, announced a significant expansion of its headquarters at The Oxford Science Park (TOSP), one of the UK’s leading parks for science and technology companies. The company, which initially occupied c 7,800 sq ft in TOSP’s prestigious Schrödinger Building, is now working from 21,000 sq ft of laboratory and office facilities. Having already created over 100 new jobs so far this year, the company expects to add a similar number of new roles in the Oxford area over the next year.
Several new facilities are planned for TOSP’s 23 gross acres of development land, with the capacity to add at least a further 500,000 sq ft. With construction of the first of these on Plot 16 expected to start before the end of the year, the Park is already experiencing strong interest in subsequent buildings. The Park’s management says that further details of the development masterplan will be released in due course.
Rory Maw, Chief Executive of The Oxford Science Park and Bursar at Magdalen College Oxford, said: “We are delighted to welcome GIC as a partner in The Oxford Science Park, and look forward to working together to enhance TOSP’s position as the science park of choice for leading science and technology companies. As a long-term investor with a strategic outlook, its objectives are aligned with ours, those of our occupiers and of Magdalen College.
“As well as being an enormous demonstration of confidence in the UK – and Oxford in particular – as a leading location for international life science and technology, this is a transformational investment for The Oxford Science Park. It enables us to meet unprecedented demand for high-quality laboratory and office space and to support the ambitious growth of new and existing occupiers from the UK and abroad.”
The news of the investment follows that of Brookfield Asset Management, the USA-based private equity and real estate business which bought a 50 per cent stake in Harwell Campus in April last year, through its Strategic Real Estate Partners III Fundmextending its ownership of UK life sciences and business parks after acquiring Reading-headquartered property investor and developer Arlington from TPG Real Estate Partners (TREP) for around £714 million, according to reports in July.
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus Limited Partnership, is a public/private joint venture that manages and develops Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. Brookfield, which is listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, has acquired the stake formerly owned by U and I Group PLC (“U+I”) and Harwell Oxford Partners Ltd.
GIC is a leading global investment firm established in 1981 to secure Singapore’s financial future. It has a global workforce of more than 1,800 people in 10 key financial cities and has investments in over 40 countries.