Legal & General snaps up Renaissance Villages

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 this year.

The acquisition of RV allows Legal & General 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 of 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.

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, said, “This acquisition is another terrific 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 our society.

“The UK is under increasing economic strain as populations expand and demand for housing increases. Later Living offers industrial scale reductions in health and care costs to the elderly through prevention and avoidance; we see this housing sector as one of the most underserved in the UK and look forward to the government engaging in positive public policy changes that help to support us in addressing this need.”

Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, said, “This acquisition provides us with further high-quality schemes of a similar size and operational model to our existing and planned communities. Built around central facilities, they are priced for a wide target market and offer an aspirational lifestyle focused on wellness.

“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 the elderly by around 50%.

“This acquisition now allows us to bring forward our plans to create much needed change to the way our ageing population live. It will also enable a number of key strategic hires to our growing senior management team.”

Keith Cockell, Chairman of Inspired Villages, added, “We want to deliver a new forward-thinking lifestyle for older people to reflect the new needs of the community. 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.

“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.”

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