PRESS RELEASE: 8 Dec 2021
Law firm Winckworth Sherwood has advised G15 housing association Optivo on a first of its kind partnership with Sage Housing.
The partnership will see Sage Housing, a for profit social housing provider owned by private equity firm Blackstone, purchase 420 homes across six London and South East development sites from Optivo for £106m. Sage Housing will develop out the sites providing a mix of affordable rented and shared ownership homes with Optivo managing the homes.
Optivo, which owns and manages 45,000 homes across London, the South East and the Midlands will reinvest the sale funds into new homes.
The partnership is the first of its kind to involve grant-funded homes and has been approved by Homes England and City Hall, London.
Paul Hackett CBE, Chief Executive of Optivo, said: “Our innovative partnership with Sage brings significant additional funding into the social housing sector. By combining Optivo’s housing management expertise and Sage’s investment capacity, we can provide more high-quality affordable homes for people in housing need. We’ll be re-investing the proceeds in high quality, land-led affordable housing schemes.
“At a time when housing associations are facing major financial pressures, partnerships like this allow us to keep delivering on our mission of building much needed affordable homes. I would like to thank Winckworth Sherwood for their support and guidance in moving this partnership forward.”
The Winckworth Sherwood team was led by Andrew Murray and supported by Social Housing Partner Charlie Proddow, Senior Associate Krissun Soodin, Associate Matt Cowen and Senior Legal Executive Hayley Turner. Partner Patricia Umunna provided banking advice, with Partner and Head of Construction Eleanor Kilminster advising on construction law matters supported by Solicitor Frederick Davies.
Andrew Murray said: “This is the first partnership to involve grant-funded homes and is a landmark for the social housing market. It was a complex deal involving 420 homes, of which 155 are affordable rents, across multiple sites in London and the South East.
“Winckworth Sherwood has long been at the forefront of shaping the social housing market bringing forward the legal frameworks to allow the sector to grow, develop and provide new homes across the UK. We are thrilled to have played a role in this new partnership.”
About Winckworth Sherwood
Winckworth Sherwood is a dynamic law firm committed to providing its clients with market leading advice that helps them achieve their objectives. In addition to its extensive Registered Provider experience in social housing finance, governance and development, the firm advises on all aspects of residential and commercial real estate, including assembly and planning, finance and investment, tax and VAT plot sales for large residential developers, build to rent, the acquisition and licensing of pubs restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and petrol stations, ground rents and enfranchisement and Landlord and Tenant litigation.
The firm also provides services in the area of Corporate and Commercial Law, Regulation, Tax and VAT, Banking and Finance, Licensing, Planning, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Charities, Ecclesiastical, Education, Family and Private Client, Parliamentary Agency Infrastructure and Transport.
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