Manchester Science Parks has officially completed the acquisition of AstraZeneca's 400-acre Alderley Park campus in east Cheshire.
JLL advised AstraZeneca on the sale, which included negotiating a number of flexible leaseback agreements that will see the pharmaceutical giant consolidate and exit the site in phases. AstraZeneca will retain 700 staff on site in the medium term.
MSP is a partnership between property developer Bruntwood, Manchester City Council, Salford City Council, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. Cheshire East Council has recently acquired a 10% stake in Alderley Park and placed a 3% investment in MSP.
Alderley Park contains 1.5m sq ft of offices and labs. Part of the site could be developed for residential, hotel or leisure uses.
Bids for the Alderley Park site were understood to have ranged from £30m to £50m. Bruntwood is said to have beaten Telereal Trilium, Discovery Park, backed by Palmer Capital, and residential developer Huntsmere.
Adam White, associate director of planning and development at JLL in Manchester, said: "It was essential to AstraZeneca that the site's life sciences capability and legacy would be preserved and enhanced. In this way, the sale process was very different from that of a typical freehold sale of development land.
"MSP's bid provided the most ambitious vision for Alderley Park as it will leverage the existing world class facilities in order to create significant new employment opportunities and capture inward investment.
"Safeguarding the future of Alderley Park as a global centre of excellence for life sciences is essential for the future of the North West's knowledge economy and it has been particularly rewarding to advise on such a strategically important deal."