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Eversheds Sutherland advises Audley Group on its half billion-pound retirement village joint venture

  • United Kingdom
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    A vast investment into later living with a new £500m, multi-site retirement village project

    A cross-practice team from Eversheds Sutherland has advised Audley Group on its joint venture (JV) with BlackRock Real Assets, which will see the development of at least three retirement villages within Audley Group’s Mayfield portfolio with total gross development value of £500m. 

    Eversheds Sutherland’s multi-disciplinary team advised Audley Group, a specialist later living and retirement housing provider with a portfolio of 21 villages across the UK. The team advised throughout the establishment of the JV, providing corporate, commercial, real estate and construction advice. This included negotiation of JV terms and related operational and construction contracts together with real estate due diligence. The JV will see Audley Group managing the development and operations of the three sites, the first of which will be a 255-dwelling site in Watford, which will be ready for occupation in the summer of 2022. 

    BlackRock Real Assets is an investment manager investing into assets across the globe, managing over US$60bn in client commitments. This JV marks its first investment into the UK retirement living sector. 

    Theresa-Marie Stodell, Partner, Corporate, from Eversheds Sutherland, commented:

    “We are delighted to have worked with the Audley team on this strategic joint venture. The retirement and later living sector is growing in the UK at a tremendous pace, and the appetite from financial institutions, investors and funds to invest in the sub-sector is clear for all to see. This is a complex joint venture between two major players in later living and investment respectively, made possible thanks to Eversheds Sutherland’s agile, multi-disciplinary team, with its depth of experience across indirect real estate investment and alternative assets.”

    Nick Sanderson, CEO, Audley Group, commented: 

    “Today’s announcement truly is a landmark event, not just for Audley Group but for the whole retirement living sector in the UK. Partnering with a leading global investment team is a major endorsement of our model and the potential for value creation in social and financial terms that exists within the sector. An ageing population coupled with a pandemic has made people question their living choices and means they are rightly demanding access to active communities, greater security and a place where they can thrive in rude health within their own homes for as long as possible. And as this demand continues, we look forward to continuing in partnership with BlackRock Real Assets to fund appropriate retirement living accommodation solutions for the UK market. With thanks to Eversheds Sutherland, who provided vital counsel through the process.” 

    The Eversheds Sutherland team was led by Theresa-Marie Stodell, and was supported by Kelly Holmes, Partner, Commercial; Matthew Gough, Partner, Commercial; Dom Lacey, Partner, Construction; Clare Whitaker, Partner, Real Estate; Michael Harris, Principal Associate, Corporate; Ed Freeman, Principal Associate, Construction; Edward Norris, Senior Associate, Commercial; Julie Chemla, Associate, Corporate; and Lauren Fishburne, Associate, Construction.

    This is Eversheds Sutherland’s second later living JV for the Audley Group, having advised on its partnership to develop four new retirement sites with Schroders Real Estate and Octopus Real Estate, in August 2019.


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