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Harrison Street Deal Creates £450M UK Life Sciences Business

Azotic Technology, one of the tenants in the newly created We Are Pioneer UK life sciences business.

Harrison Street has completed a £120M deal to buy a UK life sciences accelerator and venture capital company, creating a new business that it said would house firms that make up 10% of the UK’s life sciences ecosystem.

The U.S. real estate private equity firm has bought BioCity Group alongside its UK life sciences joint venture partner Trinity Investment Management. The deal includes the acquisition of 12 properties totalling 488K SF across three science parks in Nottingham, Glasgow and Cardiff. 

Those properties will be combined with Harrison Street and Trinity’s existing portfolio of life sciences properties to create a new company called We Are Pioneer, which will own and manage 2.6M SF of life sciences real estate comprising science parks and single buildings in eight cities across the UK. The buildings house 650 companies, which the joint venture partners said is 10% of the firms in the sector in the UK currently, and the new business is valued at £450M.  

The buildings are made up of different types of space, including specialist lab space and office space. There is the possibility to develop 460K SF more space in Cardiff. 

Harrison Street said its investment in BioCity was not just about buying its real estate, but about buying into a company that can help its tenants grow. As a business accelerator and venture capital investor, as well as providing space for startups looking to grow quickly, BioCity provides advice, connections and contacts and also finance to companies that it thinks have potential. 

Hear BioCity CEO Toby Reid and a host of other sector luminaries speak at Bisnow London's Science in the City digital summit event on 22 June. Sign up here.