View guides

iQ Student Mulls Over Possible Stock Listing

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The chief executive of iQ Student Accommodation has suggested the company could draw up plans to float the business or look for major private investment by the end of the year.

iQ Student Accommodation recently snapped up the Pure Student Living portfolio for £869 million, making it the largest provider of student accommodation in London.

iQ was set up by Goldman Sachs and the Wellcome Trust two years ago as a vehicle to invest in student accommodation and now manages a portfolio of 28,000 rooms across 66 sites. The company is the second largest provider of student accommodation behind rivals Unite.

The company has recently added listed company experience to the board with the appointment of Penny Hughes, a non-exc at RBS and Superdry and chairman of the Gym Group, as its chairman.

Chief executive Rob Roger said the company has a forward supply pipeline of more than 2,000 beds, which will likely draw interest from investors.

He added: "My job is basically to drive that growth. Driving that growth will then give that opportunity for other parties to come and invest in us."

"By nature there's strong growth which can support a strong dividend... whether you want to go for a float, or gauge institutional interest. There are a lot of big pension funds from Canada, from Singapore who are also interested in these estates. There's a lot of opportunity there."

Any significant developments are unlikely in the next six to nine months as the company focuses on integrating the Pure portfolio but Goldman and Wellcome may consider their options by the end of the year if conditions are favourable.