June 27, 2019 / 6:37 AM / 5 months ago

Legal & General strikes $5 bln house-building JV with Oxford University

The logo of Legal & General insurance company is seen at their office in central London, Britain, March 17, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British insurer Legal & General (LGEN.L) has announced plans to invest up to 4 billion pounds ($5.07 billion) in a 10-year house-building partnership with the University of Oxford.

Legal & General said its investment, derived from its shareholder, annuity and managed funds, would go towards developing an initial 3,000 homes for university staff, graduates and the general market.

The company has formed a 50:50 partnership with the university on the project and said it could replicate the joint venture with other academic institutions in the future.

Legal & General said the use of shareholder capital would help it develop the “right real assets” and help de-risk its pensions and funds ran by its investment management unit.

The insurer has become more active in Britain’s housing market in recent years, including developing a modular housing factory in Yorkshire in the North of England to produce more than 3,000 flatpack homes a year.

Oxford University has been expanding its links with private business in recent years and earlier this month received its biggest single donation from Stephen Schwarzman, the head of private equity firm Blackstone (BX.N).

The 150 million pounds will fund a center for humanities that would also house an institute to study the ethics of artificial intelligence.

($1 = 0.7887 pounds)

Reporting by Iain Withers, editing by Sinead Cruise

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