AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets has agreed to buy Kadans Science Partner from funds advised by Oaktree Capital Management. Kadans is a leading developer, owner and operator of science parks and lab offices across Europe.
The acquisition will allow AXA IM – Real Assets to enter and build immediate scale in the life science and lab offices sector, an emerging but high growth asset class in Europe.
The sector is supported by a number of economic, demographic and technological changes and is benefitting from a significant growth in available public and private funding.
Kadans owns a portfolio which spans key research locations in the Netherlands, UK and Germany and comprises 150,000 sqm of operating space across 20 assets. The company owns a further seven developments which will deliver around 70,000 sqm over the next three years.
AXA IM – Real Assets plans to work with the existing management team at Kadans, who will stay with the business and retain a minority stake, to accelerate the growth of the platform across Europe.
Originally founded in the late 1990s, Kadans’ assets combine offices and incubator space alongside a range of specialist spaces including laboratories, cleanrooms and tech halls, as well as research and development facilities such as climate-controlled environments and pilot plants.
Kadans’ tenant base comprises a mix of global corporates, SMEs and start-up businesses, as well as academic and government institutions in growth sectors such as life sciences, food, health, living environment, biotechnology, as well as bio-based and high-tech semiconductors.
John O’Driscoll, Head of European Transactions at AXA IM – Real Assets, commented, “This is a significant transaction for AXA IM – Real Assets as it allows us to enter a high conviction sector at scale. Kadans is a clear market leader in the life science and lab offices sector and the acquisition provides us with a unique opportunity to access a fully integrated platform comprising an existing operational portfolio and an extensive development pipeline together with a management team with unrivalled operational expertise.
Michel Leemhuis, Chief Executive at Kadans Science Partner said, “We are grateful to Oaktree for the support over the past three years and are very happy to expand our mission alongside AXA IM – Real Assets, whose extensive network and local presence in most European countries gives us the opportunity to strengthen our leading position in the European market for life science and lab offices.”
The acquisition is conditional upon German merger commission approval.