A multi-disciplinary legal team at Bevan Brittan has advised Peabody and Catalyst on a merger which will create one of the biggest housing association groups in England and Wales.
The team of over 20 experts at the national law firm provided advice across a range of legal issues over a nine-month period after being instructed in June last year.
The merger will create a new combined organisation from today (Friday 1 April 2022) which will be responsible for 104,000 homes and provide housing for around 220,000 residents across London, Kent, Sussex and the Home Counties.
Partner Sarah Greenhalgh, who led the Bevan Brittan team, said the deal would enable both organisations to join together and deliver their vision of having more locally-based teams to ensure close connections with residents.
Community investment by the new combined organisation, which will see Catalyst initially become a subsidiary of the Peabody Group, is also expected to increase to £11m.
Sarah said: “This has been a real team effort to ensure both organisations were able to complete this exciting merger. Both Peabody and Catalyst have similar opportunities and challenges and this will enable the new organisations to move forward stronger together.
“Both have a commitment to being more closely connected with their local communities as well as investing for the future both in terms of modernising their estate, new homes and in meeting their combined net zero ambitions.
Ian McDermott, Chief Executive of Peabody said: "Our customers will be front and centre of our new organisation. Our increased scale will allow us to invest more in services, homes, technology and our people. We want to transform our services for the better, working with customers to create and design services that help them get things done easily and quickly. We'll be focused on getting the basics right, including delivering an effective repairs service, and also fostering a people-first culture throughout the organisation.
"Equality, Diversity & Inclusion will be central to what we do, and we are planning an Academy of talent where colleagues and customers will be able to learn side by side. Customers need to be heard, and through meaningful involvement and local engagement, we will make sure that they are.
"I know we'll be judged not on our words, but on our actions and the quality of what we do, which is absolutely right. We will learn and improve as we transition to the new operating model, and we are determined to make the most of this huge opportunity to make a positive impact and help people flourish and succeed in their lives."
Bevan Brittan’s Head of Housing, Louise Leaver, who worked alongside Sarah Greenhalgh on the deal, added: “Bevan Brittan are delighted to have been able to support Peabody and Catalyst in bringing this deal to fruition. The project team excellently led by Sarah, brought together skills from right across our housing practice and we’ll continue working with both parties to advise them on the post-merger integration.”
Sarah was joined on the Bevan Brittan team by a range of colleagues including Louise, who advised Catalyst on their role in a bond raise by Peabody, as well as HR and Employment Partner Sarah Lamont and Pensions Partner Nigel Bolton.