English housing association acquires commercial land business in £500m deal



L&Q logoL&Q has completed a deal to buy a private land business worth around £505 million in the largest commercial acquisition by the non-profit sector.

The charitable housing association, which owns 90,000 homes across London and the South East, has acquired Gallagher Estates which controls plots to deliver 42,500 new homes, mainly in the south of England and the south Midlands.

The business promotes sites through the planning process, from pre-allocation stage to securing implementable planning consents, before delivering serviced land to the market place.

The acquisition places L&Q as one of the leading enablers of new homes across the UK.

It follows L&Q’s merger with East Thames Limited, the launch of an ambitious plan to enable the delivery of 100,000 new homes and a £2.6 billion refinancing package which creates the platform for growth.

David Montague, chief executive of L&Q, said the Association is committed to solving the housing crisis and land is a key part of the solution.

He said: “Our acquisition of Gallagher Estates is a defining moment for L&Q and shows commitment to our vision of creating 100,000 new homes in our capacity as lead developer and as an enabler working with key delivery partners.

“Through this deal L&Q will unlock land for development across a wider range of tenures, and speed up the delivery of new homes through our ability to invest over the long term.

“It will also add the significant skills and expertise of one of the UK’s leading strategic land companies, and allow L&Q to take a lead role in housing delivery on a regional basis, whilst generating significant resources for reinvestment into new affordable housing.”

Tony Gallagher, chairman of Gallagher Estates, said: “I am delighted to entrust the business that I have developed over many years to L&Q. They have impressed me at every level throughout this transaction. I have no doubt that they will achieve all their new housing objectives and that they will play a big part in resolving the under-supply of housing for UK Limited. I wish them all the luck in the world for the future.”

Gallagher Estates will become a wholly owned subsidiary of L&Q, and will continue to be run by the current management team as a stand-alone entity.

The acquisition does not include Tony Gallagher’s commercial and retail property development and investment activities.

L&Q expects the acquisition to become immediately accretive to L&Q’s earnings.



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