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Hungarians Tempt Legal & General Into Second Birmingham BTR Deal


The Hungarian owner of a Jewellery Quarter site have agreed a funding deal with Legal & General for the £100M Hockley Mills build-to-rent development in Birmingham.

The Hockley Mills site, which won planning permission in 2018, becomes Legal & General’s 16th UK BTR site and its second in Birmingham. It takes L&G’s total investment in the sector to £2.1B, with 5,300 apartments. The funding is on behalf of L&G’s Built to Rent and Access Development Partnership, a joint venture between Legal & General Capital and PGGM.

The development was promoted by Blackswan, now controlled by Cordia’s Hungarian-born Gabor Andras Futo, who lives in Israel. Budapest-based Cordia bought into Marcus Hawley’s local development vehicle Blackswan, via his business Cordia UK Holdings, with the deal completing in October 2020. A joint venture vehicle was set up to hold the management company as well as all project SPVs, with a 97% Cordia majority and Marcus Hawley retaining 3%.

Futo’s network of corporate interests via Malta was revealed in the Paradise Papers leak.

L&G said in a statement that its build-to-rent portfolio “has continued to deliver a stable income return throughout the crisis” and is “well placed to benefit from some of the household behavioural trends and preferences emerging through the coronavirus pandemic; namely an increasing need for homes with functional space to work, alongside convenient access to local cultural and leisure amenities”.

The Hockley Mills scheme will include 28K SF of retail, leisure and offices.

Legal & General was advised by Knight FrankSir Robert McAlpine will act as the developer at Hockley Mills.