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CMS advises Urban&Civic on £506m offer from the Wellcome Trust

24 November 2020

International law firm CMS has advised long-standing client Urban&Civic plc on a £506 million recommended cash offer from global charitable foundation the Wellcome Trust. The proposed transaction comprises the acquisition of Urban&Civic’s entire issued and to be issued share capital by the Wellcome Trust and will be effected by means of a scheme of arrangement.

Founded in 2009 by Nigel Hugill and Robin Butler, Urban&Civic is a Master Developer of strategic UK land sites, including Alconbury, Manydown, Rugby, Waterbeach and Wintringham. Led by CMS partner Ciaran Carvalho, CMS has advised Urban&Civic since its formation, including on its listing through a reverse takeover of Terrace Hill Group plc, its acquisition of Catesby Estates Group plc and its acquisition of a number of its strategic sites.

Commenting on the transaction, CMS partner Ciaran Carvalho said: “We are delighted and proud to have advised Urban& Civic on this important transaction. We have advised Urban&Civic since its formation and first acquisition of Alconbury airfield in 2009. Since then, we have advised Urban&Civic as it has grown including on its listing through a reverse takeover of Terrace Hill Group plc, its acquisition of Catesby Estates Group plc and the acquisition of a number of its strategic land sites. Over a period of 11 years, they have been a wonderful client across many areas of the firm and we wish the business continued growth and success.” 

CMS Corporate partner Jack Shepherd added: “It is an absolute pleasure to be assisting our long-standing client Urban&Civic on this recommended offer. As a firm, we continue to demonstrate our solid capabilities in executing significant and complex public M&A deals. We look forward to working with Urban&Civic to bring this deal to a successful close.”

The CMS team was led by Jack Shepherd and Kristy Duane (Corporate) with assistance from Philippa Chatterton, Pauline Howcroft, Gemma Hall, Sarojah Sethivalu, Georgia Cherry and Iain Newman (Corporate); Ciaran Carvalho, Clare Thomas, Keith Barber and Sarah Jury (Real Estate); Graham Muir and Jasleen Kaur (Employment Incentives); Andrew McLean and Rob Whiddett (Banking); Russell Hoare (Competition); and Graeme MacLeod and Charlotte Edgar (LAIE).

This is the latest in a string of recent public M&A transactions advised on by the firm, including: RWS Holdings plc on its £854 million takeover of language translation and content management company SDL; Ei Group on its £1.3 billion takeover by Stonegate Pub Company, creating the largest pub company in the UK; and LondonMetric Property plc on its public takeover of A&J Mucklow Group PLC, creating one of the UK’s leading listed logistics and distribution platforms with assets of approximately £2.3 billion.