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Unite Snaps up £227m Aston University Accommodation

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Unite has acquired 3,067 beds through the acquisition of Aston Student Village in Birmingham.

Purchased for £227 million in a 50:50 joint venture with GIC, the Singaporean wealth fund, Aston Student Village (ASV) represents Unite's first major on-campus acquisition.

The asset consists of 3,067 beds across five large, detached properties on Aston University's campus in central Birmingham.

ASV is the only accommodation currently offered to students studying at Aston University, which has a student population of 11,000, with no additional accommodation available either under direct ownership or through nomination agreements. Currently the accommodation is fully occupied.

Due to the purchase Unite now has a portfolio in Birmingham of over 5,000 beds. The company also hopes the acquisition will provide opportunities to establish a long-term strategic partnership, which may include bed nominations.

Unite is looking to invest further money into the site during the summer to help enhance the student experience and product for customers as well as drive rental growth opportunities once the buildings are integrated into their PRISM operating system.

The purchase price represents an acquisition yield of 5%, which is expected to grow to 6% following additional investment into the property. ASV will sit within Unite and GIC's LSAV 50:50 joint venture and Unite expects the acquisition to add approximately 1-2p to the Group's annual EPRA Earnings on a recurring basis.

Commenting on the site, chief executive officer Richard Smith, said: "I am delighted to announce this acquisition, our first on campus. Birmingham is one of the top cities for students and this acquisition demonstrates the value of our strong relationships with Universities and also the benefit of our position as market leader, both by scale and efficiency and the service that we able to offer to students as a result of our PRISM operating system."