Unite student flats sold to Brookfield for £295m

Student accommodation developer Unite Group plc said it would sell 13 properties comprising 4,175 beds to a Brookfield-managed fund for £295 million, with Unite’s share of the deal being £102 million.

The properties are located in Liverpool, York, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

“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,” said the company, which has a stock market value of around £1.3 billion.

“It is the first stage of Unite’s plan to recycle £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.”

Unite Students said the proceeds would be used to fund its recent 3,100 bed on-campus acquisition at Aston University in Birmingham and the remainder recycled into Unite’s development activity.

Unite Students CEO Richard Smith 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.”