Iqon picks up Vodafone campus

Iqon Capital has acquired The Connection business campus in Newbury, UK, from Vodafone, with plans to upgrade it into a modern business and innovation campus. 

The deal was closed for Aljazira Capital, with Oval Real Estate acting as asset and development manager.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Through a sale and leaseback deal, Vodafone has entered into long-term leases on four of the seven buildings at the site confirming its commitment to Newbury, the birthplace of the company.

The remaining three properties will be comprehensively refurbished into newly re-designed and highly sustainable workplaces.

The campus comprises seven office properties which have served as Vodafone’s UK headquarters since its construction in the early 2000s. The seven properties have a net internal area of 486,810 ft2 (45,226 m2) and are set on 38 acres (15 hectares) of landscaped grounds.

Since 2022, Vodafone has implemented a new blended working model for its 10,000 UK employees which includes a combination of home, site and field-based working, shifting the company’s traditional office space to become hubs for co-workers to interact in person.

Iqon was founded by Giovanni Gregoratti (former CEO of Aegila Capital Management) and Carlo Ratti (founder of design and innovation firm CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, and director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

The founders' objective is to combine their expertise in the fields of investments, design, technology and engineering and create a new real estate investment platform that brings innovation and sustainability at the core of the investment process.

Oval was founded ten years ago by Nick Prior and James Craig and has been investing and developing workspace in the UK ever since. It has an agile team based across offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Oval is focused on tenant experience and leaving buildings and neighbourhoods better than it found them.

Vodafone was advised on the transaction by Colliers, with Chris Lewis, Head of Office Investment and Rob Campkin, Head of Corporate Capital Solutions, whilst Osborne Clarke acted as legal advisors.

Addleshaw Goddard acted as legal advisers of the purchaser, while JLL acted as Debt Brokers and Savills as Technical Due Diligence Advisor in the transaction.


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