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Magdalen College Appoints Cushman & Wakefield To Seek Strategic Partner For The Oxford Science Park

10/05/2021
  • 40% equity share available for investment to accelerate development at one of the most influential science, technology and business environments in the UK to meet demand from life sciences sector
  • Many tenants have been involved in the fight against Covid-19 through vaccines, sequencing, viral vectors and test reagents

Magdalen College Oxford is seeking a strategic partner to accelerate the development of The Oxford Science Park (TOSP), one of the UK’s leading parks for science and technology companies, and has appointed real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield to lead the process. With the global life science sector extremely well capitalised and making significant innovation advances, there is an increasing demand for high quality laboratory and office space. 

The science park, 100% owned and managed by Magdalen College, is home to more than 100 leading companies active across a range of therapeutic areas and technologies including infectious diseases, cancer and artificial intelligence. Many tenants have been involved in the fight against Covid-19 through vaccines, sequencing, viral vectors and test reagents.

Opened in 1991 to provide high-quality space for spin-outs and start-ups such as those emerging from the University of Oxford, TOSP houses state-of-the-art office and laboratory space across 62 acres of landscaped grounds. The many success stories among the companies on the park include: 

  • Oxford Nanopore, developer of genome sequencing technology that can decode the DNA and RNA of any living organism;
  • Vaccitech, the immunotherapy and vaccine company behind the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, which recently floated on NASDAQ;
  • OXGENE, a pioneering contract research and development organisation recently acquired by WuXi AppTec; 
  • Leading pharmatech company Exscientia which has raised up to $625m this year to fund its pioneering use of Artificial Intelligence for drug discovery. 

Magdalen College is offering a 40% equity share in TOSP to prospective partners in a joint venture which would include the existing buildings and remaining development plots. At present, TOSP has approximately 250,000 sq ft of existing leased and managed buildings. Its 14.75 acres of development land has capacity to add a further 420,000 sq ft to support the growth of existing occupiers and enable new companies to join the thriving campus.

The science park was originally established in 1991 as a joint venture with M&G Real Estate, one of the world’s leading property investors, with Magdalen College acquiring its 50% stake in 2016 to take sole ownership. Since then, demand for quality laboratory space has grown significantly with particularly high demand for fitted laboratory buildings locally.  

Rory Maw, Bursar at Magdalen College Oxford and Director of The Oxford Science Park, said: “Beyond its unrivalled strategic location, one of the key features of The Oxford Science Park’s success has been the ability of occupiers to scale up on site – with many starting out in incubator buildings before expanding into larger, dedicated facilities. Our role is to support the growth ambitions of existing occupiers, providing flexibility with their space requirements, and others wanting to join this unique and collaborative community. 

“We believe a strategic partnership provides the most attractive mechanism to raise capital to accelerate the timetable for developing additional capacity to meet unprecedented demand and to further the discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship taking place at The Oxford Science Park. Magdalen College has a tradition of academic excellence and entrepreneurship. The Park upholds the College’s heritage – many of its buildings and roads are named after our famous scientific alumni – and this next step in The Oxford Science Park’s evolution develops this tradition further.
” 

Magdalen College is being advised in its search for a strategic partner by a multidisciplinary team of capital markets and life science specialists from Cushman & Wakefield.

David Haynes, Head of UK Specialist Markets at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The Oxford Science Park represents a once in a generation opportunity to invest in one of Europe’s leading science parks with a vibrant ecosystem of globally-recognised life science tenants.” 

Andrew Hawkins, International Partner, Capital Markets at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “There is an enormous weight of global capital targeting the life sciences sector with demand for lab space in the UK growing significantly in recent years as a result of rapid investment by international capital into life science occupiers.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS


About The Oxford Science Park

The Oxford Science Park is owned and managed by Magdalen College, Oxford. Created in 1991, the Park upholds the College’s heritage and provides one of the most influential science & technology environments in the UK. There is approaching 750,000 square feet of workspace accommodation across the Park, which is now home to 2,700 people and more than 100 businesses. These range from start-ups based in the Magdalen Centre innovation hub to major international companies and include Blue Earth Diagnostics, MiroBio, OrganOx, OxSonics Therapeutics, Oxford Nanopore Technologies, OXGENE, ProImmune, Oxford Sciences Innovation, Evox Therapeutics, Vaccitech, Exscientia, Sensyne Health and Intuitive Surgical.

In addition to being a key property investment, the Park is at the heart of Magdalen College's strategy to support discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. It will continue to develop The Oxford Science Park as a long-term strategic asset. This  additional capacity will support the growth of businesses already based on the Park, providing flexible workspace accommodation, and enabling new companies to enjoy the Park’s exceptional environment and collegiate and collaborative ethos. The Oxford Science Park is located approximately four miles south-east of Oxford city centre, just off the City’s southern ring road. It has easy access to the M40 and A34, as well as to Heathrow Airport and mainline train services. For further information, please visit: www.oxfordsp.com or follow us on Twitter @OxfordSciencePK External Link.


About Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 50,000 employees in 400 offices and 60 countries. In 2020, the firm had revenue of $7.8 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation and other services. To learn more here or follow @CushWake External Link on Twitter.

 

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Seetle Dool Cushman & Wakefield

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