A new fund established by ActivumSG Capital Management has made its first investment by establishing a platform to develop and operate retirement villages in the UK with a differentiated offer spanning the full continuum of care. ActivumSG Real Estate Fund VII formed the platform with the former senior management team of Richmond Villages. It will start construction of its first retirement villages in Birmingham and near Southampton in the second half of this year, for delivery in 2024 with a projected gross development value (GDV) of €264m (£220m). Terms of the acquisition were not being disclosed.
Saul Goldstein, Founder and CEO of ActivumSG, said: “Our pan-European fund has made a flying start with a signature investment that adds a new geography to our residential strategies. We will work closely with the management team to build the business into one of the UK’s largest platforms. We’re no strangers to the opportunities in senior housing, arising from the shortage of purpose-built homes for Europe’s ageing populations. We started in Germany in 2016 with specialist developer Carestone, which is going from strength to strength.”
The new platform’s management team led by Paddy Brice and Paul Jackson has worked together for more than 15 years, primarily during their time at Richmond Villages, where they successfully developed and operated a number of villages. Four years after the group’s sale to Bupa in 2013 the team, backed by a private care home investor, secured the two sites in the ActivumSG fund’s investment, obtained consent to develop them and also established a pipeline of other village projects. The two village developments in Birmingham’s affluent Edgbaston district and Stoneham Park, near Southampton, comprise a total of 290 independent and assisted living apartments for sale, all benefitting from a centrally integrated leisure, amenity and care hub, offering in total a further 90 care bedrooms. The UK is experiencing a chronic supply and demand imbalance for age-appropriate accommodation, which is particularly acute in relation to housing with care.
James de Lusignan, Director at ActivumSG UK Advisors and Head of the UK, said: “We’re backing a first-class management team and are hitting the ground running. The initial two retirement villages will offer something new to the UK, providing high-quality homes to a genuinely under-served part of the market. There is a strong pipeline in place and our goal is to grow the platform in the coming years to develop and operate villages with a GDV of more than €1.2bn (£1bn).”