Geldards successfully advises on BioCity Group acquisition

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Geldards is proud to have successfully advised on a landmark deal for the city.

BioCity Group, the life sciences incubator based in Nottingham, has been acquired in a joint venture by Harrison Street, a leading investment management firm, and Trinity Investment Management, an operator, developer and manager of life sciences real estate.

Jenny Chatten, Geldards’ partner for Corporate Finance, led a 15-strong team of solicitors on the deal from across the firm’s real estate, commercial and construction arms.

The £120 million deal will see the merger of BioCity Group with Trinity's science real estate arm, Knowledge Factory, to form a new company, We Are Pioneer Group.

The new group will manage more than 2.6 million square feet of science parks and other assets across Great Britain, supporting more than 500 tenants through early-stage venture capital investment and accelerator programmes.

We Are Pioneer Group plans to invest heavily in expanding these programmes as it collaborates closely with academics, government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies.

Jenny Chatten said: “BioCity is a big success story locally, having helped nurture and grow several innovative businesses and bring significant investment into the city.

“Building strong relationships with local businesses is really important to us - we are driven by the client, not the deal. “We have a long and fruitful relationship with BioCity Group and we are pleased it has culminated in this landmark deal.”

Toby Reid, CEO of BioCity Group, said: “We have worked with Geldards for many years. The team’s support and expertise has been invaluable as BioCity Group expanded our offering to the UK’s life science community.

“We Are Pioneer Group (WAPG) is the exciting next step that provides the opportunity to create a fully integrated European life sciences platform to rival the scale of what the U.S. has to offer.

“WAPG will become the first nationwide business to combine direct business support with the investment and development of new lab space.

We will build labs, invest in early-stage companies and run accelerators across a 2.6 million sq. ft portfolio in key locations.”

Geldards has been advising BioCity Group on the deal for the last 16 months. The two businesses have a working relationship dating back more than 15 years.

David Watson, Geldards’ partner for Real Estate, added: “This was a complicated deal with multiple stakeholders involved and a business with a complex financial structure.

“The team has worked hard in difficult circumstances to deliver this excellent result for BioCity Group.

We are all incredibly proud to have played a role in this deal, which will help accelerate the life sciences sector in the city and beyond.”

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