Puma Property Finance backs life sciences sector with new £21 million Oxford acquisition loan

Puma Property Finance announces it has provided a £21 million loan to a private investor, Greyarc Investments, to fund the acquisition of an 88,000 sq. ft. office building in Oxford Business Park. The space, known as ‘Building 2700’, is a prominent self-contained building, constructed in 2005 and set over ground and two upper floors with a striking full height atrium and over 300 car parking spaces.

Building 2700 is currently let to a registered charity, Oxfam, as its headquarters. The loan will allow Greyarc to finalise designs to undertake an extensive conversion to transform the space into a life sciences lab and office facility as Oxfam’s lease runs to term.

Oxford Business Park is now a part of the ARC (Advanced Research Cluster) group, which was established by Brookfield in 2022 to create Europe’s leading science, innovation and technology real estate platform. The Park is conveniently located just two miles from Oxford city centre and close to the historic university. The anticipated reopening of the nearby Cowley Branch Line will provide direct services from the Park to Oxford and London.

The life science and biotech industry has grown significantly in recent years, with Oxford firmly established among the world’s leading life sciences clusters. It is considered part of the Global Top 3 Life Science Hubs1 given the significant demand from spin-out companies from the University of Oxford. Building 2700 is uniquely placed to take advantage of the growth in the sector given the strong fundamentals that will enable its conversion into a fully lab-enabled facility. These include large, customisable floor plates to allow for ultimate flexibility in laboratory configurations from serviced incubator facilities all the way through to a single-let opportunity.

Puma anticipates a follow-up loan facility to fund the conversion and refurbishment of the building in 2025. The loan was brokered by Bircroft Private.

Our view

We are delighted to be undertaking our first financing with Greyarc Investments in what is an exciting move for us into the life sciences sector. Oxford has an unparalleled track record for supporting the growth of life sciences businesses. The team at Greyarc Investments have strong knowledge of the Oxford market, having previously developed the Oxford Technology Park. The comprehensive refurbishment of the property we are funding will have strong appeal to both existing life science companies and those spinning out of the university while delivering a positive environmental impact.

Kevin Davidson, Managing Director at Puma Property Finance

A view from Bircroft Private

We are delighted to have facilitated this transaction with Puma on behalf of Greyarc Investments. Due to the timing constraints involved it was imperative we introduced not only a competitive lender but one who could be relied upon to deliver within the timeframe. Puma engaged with us alongside a carefully selected team of professionals to ensure the debt facility was provided within four weeks of first meeting. A great team effort to deliver an exciting opportunity.

Mark Selwood, Principal at Bircroft Private