CPPIB takes £200m interest in Hermes' UK office and science park

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has bought a 50% stake in a large office park in the UK for £200m (€227m).

Hermes Investment Management sold the interest in Milton Park, which serves as a hub for 250 business, science and technology companies, including a number of spin-off organisations from nearby University of Oxford.

The business park, which covers 250 acres in the Thames Valley, has been developed and managed by MEPC on behalf of Hermes, an investment manager owned by the BT Pension Scheme.

MEPC, which will continue to manage Milton Park, is currently developing Park Drive East, one of the largest speculative develoments in Oxfordshire, targeting ongoing demand for office and laboratory space in the area.

Andrea Orlandi, managing director and head of European real estate investments at CPPIB, said: “We see significant future growth potential at Milton Park as it continues to build on its attractiveness to the life-science sector – a major pillar of the thriving Oxford economy.”

He added that the transaction provided “CPPIB with a further opportunity to grow our existing relationship with Hermes, one of our key strategic partners”.

The two organisation already have a number of real estate joint ventures in the London office market, in a mixed-use development in Birmingham and in the Wellington Place development in Leeds. They have also invested together in infrastructure assets.

Chris Taylor, head of private markets at Hermes, said: “The deal marks another significant milestone in our growing relationship with CPPIB, which has already proved highly successful through our JV within central London and our collaboration at Wellington Place in Leeds and Paradise, Birmingham.

“Our interests are well aligned and, as such, we have been able to work together to deliver strong financial returns and positive impact upon society and the environment.

“Recycling capital in this manner allows us to adequately diversify our global portfolio and invest further in existing and new strategic holdings, where we believe additional value can be added in line with our focus on the occupational impacts arising from growing trends of urbanisation, globalisation, technology and demographic shifts.”

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