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  • Writer's pictureColin Nicholson

The Advantages of Joint Ventures and Partnerships

We have successfully been helping and advising our clients source, structure and manage Joint Ventures and Development Partnerships to help deliver more homes.

These relationships have formed several different business structures bespoke to actual development proposals enabling our clients to get the best out of a joint venture to supplement their business model.

These Partnerships can incorporate – land disposal, finance, sales risk and expertise, grant funding abilities, constructor abilities, affordable housing, non-residential use, off site manufacturing. Fundamentally these are collaboration agreements or development agreements where risk can be shared, apportioned, mitigated or offset in the partnership often via special purpose vehicles (SPV’s).

For developers, JV’s can be and excellent way to improve their Financial Rate of Return (IRR) and get exclusive access to development land. Sharing the cost of enabling or infrastructure work prior to sales returns increases viability and potential margin. Not all developers, however, view a joint venture as a true partnership and it is part of our role to ensure what each parties objectives actually are.

A good partnership can work to kickstart estate regeneration major projects or unlock land that might fall below viability thresholds.

Our strategic and pragmatic advice helps our clients avoid the risk of a poor joint venture which allows uneven apportionment of cost, risk pricing and residual profits. We ensure our clients are represented with non-performance provisions, measures to prevent loss of control, impractical and unachievable overage provisions, quality products and stakeholder engagement.

Our services for Joint Venture Partnerships can take many forms including : Joint Venture Monitor, Client Representative, Cost Consultant, Project Management, Funding Monitor, Quality Inspector, Employers Agent and Joint Venture Manager.

Joint venture advantages

· Land (where one party owns the asset)

· Finance (where parties can bring finance from different sources i.e. grant or development capital)

· Skills/experience (often from the development sector)

· Building capacity/buying power (allowing the public sector to enjoy developer benefits)

· Shared risk and reward (allowing each party to share or take appropriate risk)

· Sales branding (taking a known product to market)

We can also source and advise our clients on the right selection process in finding a suitable Joint Venture partner, whether based on skillset, capacity, track record, financial strength ensuring the partnership outcomes are beneficial to all parties.

Airey Miller’s commercial and design department can also carry out reviews of our clients’ existing stock for development and joint venture potential plus advise on both small sites programmes, redevelopment sites or estate regeneration.

We are finding in the current COVID economic climate, and with post-Grenfell recladding commitments, joint ventures can be an excellent way for cash restricted local authorities to deliver new homes including affordable housing on existing land holdings without requiring additional funding or increase to their capital expenditure programme

This also applies to housing associations who can use their financial strength to form JV’s with developers and housebuilders using existing assets or bidding for new opportunities.

Below are some examples of our joint venture partnership experience:

Example 1

We advised on a joint venture between a developer and housing association to bid for and structure a successful land bid with risk and responsibilities clearly defined and documented. This partnership included the agreement of bespoke specifications, build contract, site remediation programme plus phasing agreement to ensure both parties achieve completed properties to suit their business requirements.

Example 2

We gave advice where a housing association looked to purchase a large site and enter a joint venture with a developer and contractor to provide sales and building expertise, plus provide a fixed price construction cost and build programme. One of the challenges was to agree a common specification between parties and allocation of profits to reflect the project risk profile.

Example 3

A £180m joint venture between a developer and major bank to purchase a large prime riverside site where the developer proposed design, building experience, branding and sales expertise, with the bank providing financial strength, payment and overage guarantees and funding outside of the developers existing working capital. The JV company successfully built and sold a prestigious development which won numerous industry awards and accolades.

To discuss potential JV options please contact:

Colin Nicholson MCIOB CEnv AssocRICS

Commercial Director


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