Hexagon Tower in Blackley, north Manchester
Richard Bell

Hexagon Tower science park changes hands in £95m deal

Hexagon Tower, the vertical science park in Blackley, north Manchester, has been snapped up in a multi-site deal worth £95m.

A joint venture between US investment management firm Angelo Gordon and property business Trinity Investment Management acquired Hexagon Tower and the four other UK science parks forming Mars Pension Fund’s Business Environments for Science and Technology (BEST) portfolio.

Covering 348 acres, the portfolio is the UK’s biggest privately owned network of technology and science parks.

The 11-storey Hexagon Tower, which encompasses 168,376 sq ft of office and laboratory space, currently generates more than £1.5m in rent annually from its 14 tenants.

During the transaction, global real estate firm Colliers International provided strategic advice to the joint venture. The firm’s life sciences team has been retained to advise Angelo Gordon and Trinity Investment Management on their continuing development of the portfolio.

Kaleigh Haeg, a senior surveyor and specialist in life sciences at Colliers International, said: “Whilst science capabilities in the UK have long been recognised as amongst the best in the world, the science parks that house those institutions and businesses have all too often lacked the necessary strategic thinking to support and deliver the limitless potential offered by advancing life science sectors.

“Our aim is to help Angelo Gordon and Trinity Investment Management transform the BEST network into a globally competitive, strategically designed portfolio of science hotbeds, where the tenant base of each park is able to support the necessary synergies required for world-class innovation and commercialisation of science.”

In addition to Hexagon Tower, the BEST portfolio includes Kent Science Park; Edinburgh Technopole; Langstone Technology Park in Havant, Hampshire; and and Wilton Centre in Redcar, North Yorkshire.

Colliers International’s head of national offices, Mark Taylor, commented: “As proven by the BEST Network purchase, the investment potential offered by UK science parks is beginning to hit the radar of investors internationally.

“The sector proved very resilient during the recession and is well supported in the future by Government with Chancellor George Osborne outlining continued research and development tax credits and other forms of support in the last Autumn statement.”

Last year, a number of Hexagon Tower tenants expanded their presence at the site, further boosting the North West’s position as a key region in the Northern Powerhouse.

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