A new joint venture initially worth up to £400m is being launched today (Friday 26 July, 2013) between the Berkeley Group and the Wellcome Trust.
The new partnership, to be called St Katharine, will invest in long-term regeneration sites with the potential to make strong commercial returns and have a powerful social impact. It will focus at first on schemes in London and the South of England.
Berkeley will source the land and apply its expertise to design, build and market each development. The Wellcome Trust will inject capital, providing access to £16bn of funds and a potential long-term outlet for some residential products on each site.
'This joint venture will have access to new, long-term, patient capital,' commented Peter Pereira Gray, Managing Director of the Investment Division of the Wellcome Trust. 'We will be opportunity-led, bidding at the right time for sites that would not otherwise be viable and turning them into fantastic places. It is good news for the UK housing market.'
'This will bring together two complementary brands, leaders in their respective fields, with clear financial backing and strong balance sheets,' said Rob Perrins, Managing Director of the Berkeley Group. 'We both have an interest in generating strong returns by creating successful places. We have shared values and common goals, and that's what makes joint ventures work.'
Notes to editors:
• The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It owns over £1 billion of residential property as a long-term investment; the vast majority of this is in London with some 1,600 property interests in the South Kensington Estate. The Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.
• The Berkeley Group is publicly-owned and listed on the London Stock Exchange as a FTSE 250 company. It is made up of 5 autonomous companies: St George, St James, Berkeley, Berkeley First, and St Edward. In 2012, it sustained 16,000 jobs and generated £2.6 billion of economic activity in Britain. The Berkeley Group has been ranked Britain's most sustainable major housebuilder for the last seven years in a row by the Next Generation benchmark.