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Axa gains access and scale in European life science sector

Axa Investment Managers – Real Assets is acquiring the science park developer, owner and operator Kadans Science Partner. Axa IMRA said the deal gives it an entry to and immediate scale in the life science and laboratory offices sector.

The company is being sold by funds advised by Oaktree Capital Management. Kadans owns a portfolio of 20 assets in key research locations in the Netherlands, UK and Germany which comprises 150,000 sq m of operating space. Seven developments will add 70 about 7,000 sq m to the total floorspace over the next three years.

Axa IMRA said that 65% of Kadans’ portfolio has an ESG rating of Grade A, and there are plans to elevate the entire portfolio to the same level.

Kadans was founded in the late 1990s and evolved to focus on developing and operating specialised or purpose-built commercial life science buildings. The company’s assets combine offices and incubator space alongside a range of specialist areas including laboratories and cleanrooms as well as research and development facilities including climate-controlled environments and pilot plants.

Mix of tenant types in Kadans’ line-up

Kadans’ tenant base comprises a mix of, global corporate, SME and start-up businesses, as well as academic and government institutions in life sciences, food, health, living environment, biotechnology, and semiconductors.

Axa IMRA said a key element of Kadans’ success has been the creation of “innovation ecosystems” across its network of facilities as well as within individual buildings and campuses.

Axa IMRA head of European transactions John O’Driscoll said: “This is a significant transaction for AXA IM – Real Assets as it allows us to enter a high conviction sector at scale. Kadans is a clear market leader in the life science and lab offices sector and the acquisition provides us with a unique opportunity to access a fully integrated platform.”

JLL acted as M&A and real estate advisor to Axa IMRA. The acquisition is conditional upon German merger commission approval.