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Unite Students Confirms Sale of Portfolio

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Unite Students has confirmed the disposal of 14 properties to Singapore Press Holdings.

Comprising 3,436 beds, the portfolio was purchased for £180.5m, of which Unite's share is £84.7m.

The portfolio is made up of a combination of wholly owned, USAF and LSAV properties located in Plymouth, Birmingham, Bristol and London, as well as Huddersfield and Sheffield.

The sale is due to complete later in September 2018, with the purchase price reflecting a net initial yield of 6.3%, which is marginally below book value.

The sale means Unite no longer has a presence in Plymouth or Huddersfield, which the company says has enhanced its portfolio.

Once the deal goes through, high and mid-ranked Universities will account for 90% of Unite's portfolio and will lead to the LTV ratio falling to 25%. This will enable the company to add further developments or University partnerships to its pipeline.

Commenting on the deal, Richard Smith, chief executive of Unite Students, said: "This sale is an important part of our ongoing strategy of creating a high-quality portfolio aligned to the Universities with the highest student demand and the best long-term growth prospects."

"The UK's high and mid-ranked Universities are some of the most attractive for both home and international students, ensuring demand for our beds remains high."

"The transaction provides the investment capacity for our highly accretive development pipeline and target acquisitions that enhance our portfolio and support our earnings growth."