Penningtons Manches LLP has advised the selling shareholders on the sale of the Portsmouth Technopole innovation centre to a subsidiary of the University of Portsmouth. The sale included the sale of the holding company, Portsmouth Technopole (Holdings) Limited and its property-owning special purpose vehicle subsidiary, Portsmouth Technopole Limited.
The Portsmouth Technopole is a landmark building at the entrance to Portsmouth that provides offices, flexible office space, meeting rooms and virtual offices to start-up, growing and more established businesses. It plays an important role in the Portsmouth innovation and enterprise system and the sellers were pleased that the sale to the University of Portsmouth will ensure the Technopole will continue to play an important part in building Portsmouth’s economy.
Patrick Baddeley and James Went of the Penningtons Manches Oxford corporate team led the transaction with assistance from property partner, Simon Knott, and senior tax associate, Kathy Hills.
Penningtons Manches had advised Oxford Innovation on the original construction of Portsmouth Technopole in 2002 and on the subsequent spin-out of the Technopole from Oxford Innovation. James Went commented: “Since we’ve been involved with Portsmouth Technopole from the very beginning, it was particularly satisfying to assist with the sale and to see it pass into a new phase of its history.
“Our long term knowledge of the company proved a great advantage in hitting the target completion date as we were able to rapidly provide the buyer with all necessary due diligence information, co-ordinate the shareholder groupto ensure all necessary authorities were in place prior to completion, and ensure constructive and streamlined legal negotiations with the buyer.”
From signing formal heads of terms, the transaction was completed in just over two weeks. Given the challenging timescale, careful planning was required to ensure that all necessary elements could be co-ordinated to achieve the target date.
The University is developing plans to extend the facility to provide follow-on space for successful companies requiring room for expansion.