BLP advise on sale of Retirement Villages Group to AxA

A multidisciplinary team from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) have advised on the sale of Retirement Villages Group, the UK’s largest retirement village operator with 14 active communities and a pipeline of developments. The buyers were AxA, the French institutional investment group (which will operate the village developments) and the UK’s largest care home operator, HC-One Limited (which will operate the regulated care home business).

BLP were instructed following a competitive pitch process led by Corporate Partner Michael Anderson and Real Estate Partner Matt Peel arising from an introduction by JLL Corporate Finance. The deal was the result of an 18 month auction sale process which involved a reorganisation into separate property and care home operations, deferred consideration, earnings guarantees and required advice on various corporate, regulatory, real estate, employment, tax and IP issues.

Commenting on the deal, Michael Anderson said, “AxA has publicly stated its intention to invest hundreds of millions into the retirement living space in the UK and we were delighted to advise the sellers on this landmark transaction, building on our reputation in the sector having acted in recent years on the sale of Richmond Care Villages to BUPA and on over £500m of investment by US REIT’s into the UK care home sector”.

The multi-disciplinary team was led by Michael Anderson and Laura Patao-Caminas in Corporate and Matt Peel in Real Estate. Corporate support was provided by Caroline Stocks and Trainees Alana Checksfield, Rosie Kynman and Rebecca Moseley. Real estate advice was given by Ciarán Londra and Sam Harding alongside Emily Dickson in construction. Jeremy Bark advised on regulatory issues, Mark Kaye on TUPE and employment issues, Matthew Poole and Victoria Wolf on tax issues, and Tamara Quinn on IP issues. Finance advice was given by Emma Howdle-Fuller and Natalie Graham.

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