Legal & General acquires Renaissance Villages
Financial services company Legal & General has acquired Renaissance Villages (RV) for a net purchase price of around £51m from Helical Plc.
The business will be integrated into Inspired Villages Group, which Legal & General acquired in August 2017. Legal & General says the acquisition of RV allows it to accelerate its later living plans 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, the RV business comprises around 700 homes, of which over half are already sold and occupied, with the remainder ready for sale or under construction. When combined, this brings Inspired Villages Group’s development portfolio to around 1,000 homes.
Inspired Villages Group will continue to seek to acquire several land sites per year. Legal & General chief executive Nigel Wilson said the acquisition was an 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 society.
“The UK is under increasing economic strain as populations expand and demand for housing increases,” said Mr Wilson.
“Later Living offers industrial scale reductions in health and care costs to elderly people through prevention and avoidance; we see this housing sector as one of the most under-served 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 Legal & General Capital, said a scarcity of existing stock in the UK’s later living housing market meant that the main path to scaling the business would be 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,” said Mr Bayliss.
“Enhancing our offer, it provides several mature, complementary schemes and additional experienced operational resources.”
Inspired Villages chief executive Jamie Bunce said the acquisition provided the group with further high quality schemes of a similar size and operational model to its existing and planned communities.
“Built around central facilities, they are priced for a wide target market and offer an aspirational lifestyle focused on wellness,” said Mr Bunce.
“Inspired Villages offers a fantastic alternative for our ageing population who currently live in under-occupied, isolated or unsuitable properties with quality, well designed and serviced later living accommodation that has been proven to cut associated health costs in elderly people by around 50%. Inspired Villages offers baby boomers more choice. Essentially this is about the freedom and independence that comes from living in safe, age-appropriate housing as part of a community, while exploring a new phase of life without any of the maintenance burdens and with access to new interests and activities.
“This acquisition now allows us to bring forward our plans to create much needed change to the way our ageing population lives. It will also enable a number of key strategic appointments to our growing senior management team.”
Keith Cockell, chairman of Inspired Villages, said the group’s aim was to deliver a new forward-thinking lifestyle for older people to reflect the new needs of the community.
“While giving older people a safe and secure home of their own and one that is fit for purpose, at the same time we will endeavour to liberate family homes for families,” said Mr Cockell.
“Later living communities can make a real contribution to local NHS services by helping to reduce visits to GPs and providing a safe and caring environment for older people to return home to from hospital, therefore releasing NHS beds to those with more acute needs.”