BlackRock UK Property Fund made the announcement about Premier Marinas on Tuesday

BlackRock UK Property Fund announced on Tuesday that Premier Marinas Limited (PML) has been sold to the Wellcome Trust for an undisclosed amount.

The news follows an extensive marketing campaign, with the charity being selected as the preferred bidder, completing the acquisition in five days.

Established in 1994, Premier Marinas owns and operates eight of the UK’s marinas located along the south coast.

The purchase of the company is consistent with the Wellcome Trust’s approach to long-term investment and adds another major business to the Trust’s £18 billion endowment that already includes substantial property and agricultural operations.

The Wellcome Trust’s managing director Peter Pereira Gray said: “Taking sole ownership of PML adds a third wholly-owned UK asset backed operating business to the Trust’s investment portfolio and is a demonstration of our commitment to the industry and our confidence in the management team and employees.

“We will take a long term approach to the ownership of the business and look forward to the continued success and growth of PML.”

Speaking about the sale, BlackRock director Paul Tebbit: “PML has generated strong returns for BlackRock over the last decade during which time we have expanded the business significantly.

“We are very pleased to have sold PML to the Wellcome Trust and are confident that the business will continue to thrive under their stewardship.”

The Wellcome Trust is the world’s second highest-spending charitable foundation, dedicated to driving improvements in human and animal health.

It spends more than £800 million a year on supporting bright minds in biomedical research, the humanities and the social sciences, and on public engagement and education in these fields.

The charity’s notable achievements include funding much of the sequencing of the human genetic code, and research that enabled the introduction of the frontline drugs used to fight malaria.

This work is supported by the Trust’s £18 billion endowment, which has grown by 166% over the past decade to 30 September 2014.

Its diverse global portfolio is managed by a professional team, which is known for taking a long-term approach to investment, and for developing and growing its assets.

The Wellcome Trust took full ownership of the iQ student accommodation business in May 2014 and acquired FarmCare Trading Limited from the Co-Operative Group in August 2014.

It also has joint ventures with The Berkeley Group Plc in St Katharine Homes, and the Queensway Group in Tune Hotels.