A multi-disciplinary team from national law firm Bevan Brittan has been advising on the conclusion of the merger between Peabody and Catalyst. The outcome from which, has created a single not-for-profit organisation, focussed on improving services and investing in existing homes.
Twelve months ago, Peabody and Catalyst announced plans to merge and initially Catalyst became a subsidiary of Peabody. The process to transfer all assets, operations and employees has now completed and the new single housing association will be known as Peabody.
Simultaneously Rosebery Housing Association, which had been a subsidiary of Catalyst, has merged into Peabody’s subsidiary Town & Country Housing.
The group is responsible for 104,000 homes providing housing for around 220,000 residents across London and the Home Counties.
The new Peabody has published a refreshed Group Strategy setting out its priorities. The plans will put residents at the heart of the organisation, and create a new regional structure, with more locally focused teams.
Sarah Greenhalgh, a specialist housing corporate governance partner from Bevan Brittan, who advised on the merger alongside a wider team at the firm said: “Bringing two large organisations together is a complex process, requiring tight governance. After advising on the initial merger last year, we have worked closely with the leadership team on a simplification process that will help Peabody move forward strongly.”
With increasing amounts of merger activity in the social housing sector, Sarah adds: “What is particularly exciting about this deal is that it is a positive, strategic move, creating a more resilient organisation. That starting point means that Peabody is well placed to deliver its vision of having more locally based teams to ensure close connections with residents.”
Sarah Cameron, General Counsel and Group Secretary at Peabody, said “The support and advice from the Bevan Brittan team has been invaluable throughout this merger process. We are pleased that this has now concluded and look forward to continuing our plans to get closer to residents and improve our locally focused services.”
Bevan Brittan’s ongoing relationship with Peabody will continue with a recent appointment to Peabody’s legal services panel for the next four years. Bevan Brittan is working closely with Peabody on several significant projects including developments at Dagenham Green and in Thamesmead.
On the merger, Sarah Greenhalgh was joined on the Bevan Brittan team by a range of colleagues including Associate Diarmaid O’Sullivan, HR and Employment Partner Sarah Lamont and Pensions Partner Nigel Bolton.
Bevan Brittan has advised on a number of major mergers in the social housing sector, including Catalyst’s previous mergers with Aldwyck Housing Group in 2019 and Rosebery Housing Association in 2021.