London, 29 September 2016 – In a partnership between GSA, the global student accommodation leader and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GSA announces that it has acquired a 7,150-bed UK student accommodation portfolio from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”).
The transaction is the UK’s largest student accommodation deal so far this year. The portfolio has been built within the last three years and includes 3,634 operational beds across nine purpose-built student accommodation properties located in six top university cities: Liverpool, Bristol, London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Southampton. The deal also includes a pipeline of 3,516 beds in five cities: Plymouth, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Bournemouth and Cambridge, which GSA will rapidly bring on stream over the next 30 months.
Separately GSA has acquired from Threesixty Developments, the operating platform of The Student Housing Company, which has won best private halls operator for three years in a row. The properties are fully let for the 2016/17 academic year on a mix of direct student lets and university nomination agreements. GSA will take over the full operational management of the portfolio with immediate effect.
This acquisition and GSA’s partnership with GIC underlines the group’s ambition and rapid expansion plans. GSA is now one of the most significant student accommodation operators in Europe and the only operator with assets in nine countries globally.
Nicholas Porter, founder and chairman of GSA said: “I am very pleased to renew a longstanding relationship with GIC and announce our partnership. This top quality portfolio will give GSA a stronger foothold in the UK market, where the high demand for university places continues to drive the need for well-managed, purpose built accommodation. The Student Housing Company brand will come into the GSA family, alongside our Asian and European student brand Uninest, allowing us to pioneer the management of multiple brands under one umbrella.”
Ms Madeleine Cosgrave, Regional Head, Europe, GIC Real Estate, said: “GIC is pleased to partner GSA, which is among the leading developers and operators of student housing globally. The high-quality assets are located close to university campuses and city centres. As a long-term value investor, we believe student accommodation will be a sector that continues to deliver steady rental growth and resilient income returns amidst a challenging, low-yield environment.”
GSA’s advisers on the transaction were Nabarro and PWC.