Unite Students, the UK's leading manager and developer of student accommodation, announces the exchange of contracts for the disposal of 13 properties, comprising 4,175 beds to a Brookfield-managed fund for £295 million; Unite share £102 million. Completion is due in Q2 2017.
The disposal is part of Unite’s strategy to provide the capital to fund further growth in its high-quality development pipeline which is focused on mid to high ranked University locations with the most secure long-term growth prospects.
It is the first stage of Unite’s plan to recycle c.£150-£200 million of assets (Unite share) during 2017 to take advantage of the ongoing strength in the investment market for well let student accommodation.
The portfolio is made up of a combination of wholly owned, USAF and LSAV properties located in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and York. The properties were sold in line with book value.
The proceeds will be used to fund Unite’s recent 3,100 bed on-campus acquisition at Aston University and the remainder recycled into Unite’s development activity and further high quality investment properties.
The gearing and earnings impact of the transaction broadly offsets the impact of the Aston University acquisition, with proforma LTV now at 34% in-line with the Group’s target level.
Richard Smith, Chief Executive of Unite Students, said:
“This sale is an important part of our strategy to recycle capital to fund our ongoing investments, focused on the strongest university towns and cities, where we have deep university relationships and where we can provide the best accommodation and services for our students. Our development pipeline supports further earnings growth as we continue to invest in strong student markets.”
For further information, please contact:
Richard Smith, Chief Executive Officer
Joe Lister, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +44 117 302 7005
Tel: +44 20 3772 2562