Camerons helps grow Wellcome Trust’s portfolio

CMS Cameron McKenna and DLA Piper have advised on Wellcome Trust’s purchase of a £325m residential property portfolio.

The portfolio comprises 1,518 units, more than 80 per cent of which are located in London and the South East, and will consolidate Wellcome Trust’s position as one of the largest residential landlords in the UK.

Wellcome Trust, the largest charity in the UK, currently owns in excess of £500m of residential investment properties in London, principally in South Kensington, which Camerons helped it to acquire in the mid-1990s.

The Camerons team was led by client relationship partner Niall McAlister and also involved partners including real estate head Edward Benzecry. McAlister said: “This is the second-biggest purchase of a residential real estate portfolio ever – the biggest was in the 1990s in London and was also made by the Wellcome Trust. The rest of the [real estate] market has moved towards commercial property, and the trust has taken the opportunity to move into the [residential] space.”

A DLA Piper team advised Invista Real Estate, the manager of the sale, led by partner and head of the London corporate team Charles Severs.

Wellcome Trust funds biomedical research internationally and has been a Camerons client since the firm advised on its establishment in 1936. In August last year Camerons advised on the charity’s issuance of a 30-year bond to raise £550m on the capital markets – the first time a charity in the UK had issued a bond on the public markets.