L&G takes 50% stake in Peel Group’s MediaCityUK


mediacityukLegal & General Capital (LGC) has acquired a 50 per cent stake in the Peel Group’s MediaCityUK scheme at Salford Quays in Manchester, which is currently valued at £503 million.

MediaCityUK is the largest purpose-built creative, digital and technology community in Europe, and the UK’s first media campus. Its vision is to provide a global centre of excellence for innovation and creation, and to be a broadcasting hub enabling businesses to operate across all media sectors.

Paul Stanworth, Managing Director of Legal & General Capital, said:

“Today’s acquisition in MediaCityUK is a significant step forward in our direct investment into major UK infrastructure and real estate assets. In The Peel Group, whose vision has been instrumental in the development of the North West, we couldn’t have a better partner for the stewardship of MediaCityUK. We know the North West well and are already involved in regenerating Salford. Now, with our investment in MediaCityUK, the potential to drive growth and prosperity for the area is immense. Media and internet technologies are the new industrial revolution and Greater Manchester is at the heart of it.”

LGC plans to work with The Peel Group on strategically developing MediaCityUK and the wider Salford area, with the aim of creating the Media Canary Wharf of the North.

Steven Underwood, Chief Executive of the Peel Group, said:

“We are delighted to welcome LGC as Peel’s partner at MediaCityUK and look forward to working together during the next stage of its development. Legal & General’s focus on regeneration, slow money, and long history of investing in UK property makes them an ideal partner. Both groups share a complementary approach to property investment, focusing on regeneration, place making and long-term value creation. We are both committed to MediaCityUK’s continued growth as a major destination for business, residential living, retail and leisure over the coming years.”

The current asset comprises a 37 acre freehold site encompassing studios, office accommodation, incubator space, residential, hotels, and retail and leisure facilities. In total, the estate offers approximately 1.6 million sq ft of built accommodation, anchored by the BBC, ITV and the University of Salford. It is also home to over 200 other businesses including dock10, the UK’s largest independent studio and post-production facility, and a number of retail and leisure occupiers. MediaCityUK also has the opportunity for significant future growth with a large amount of consented development land that the partners will together to regenerate.

The Managing Director of MediaCityUK, Stephen Wild, said:

“Technology, media and creative is a rapidly growing sector in Greater Manchester and MediaCityUK is at the heart of this exciting trend. With over 6,000 people already living and working at MediaCityUK and the substantial opportunities for development and growth, we look forward to bringing further investment to the area jointly with LGC.”

LGC has acquired a 50 per cent interest in the corporate holding vehicles, Peel Holdings (media) Ltd and Peel Media Ltd. LGC was advised by Legal & General Property (“LGP”). Peel will retain responsibility for both the asset management of the estate and the development management of future plots.

LGC is the principal investment division for Legal & General, responsible for investing the Group’s capital, primarily to increase the risk adjusted returns for its shareholders. LGC has £5.1bn of assets and is seeking UK housing, infrastructure and social real estate opportunities that require long term capital. LGC is regenerating over 40 acres of central Salford in partnership with HCA and Muse. New homes and offices are being built, and public spaces created.

In addition to the MediaCityUK acquisition, LGC recently announced a new UK regeneration vehicle partnered by the UK Government’s Regeneration Investment Organisation (RIO) to extend its pipeline of regeneration projects across the UK. Allocating £1.5bn to the vehicle and working alongside investment partners, LGC plans to secure further external funding up to £15bn and will collaborate with central and local government to identify critical infrastructure projects. It has also just commenced regenerating Bracknell in a £200m joint venture, in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council.

Legal & General was represented by JLL. The Peel Group was advised by Macquarie Capital, Savills and Addleshaw Goddard.