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10th Oct 2019
Arlington Investors has purchased a student accommodation portfolio consisting of 2,458 beds for GBP 280 million.
The deal is part of a joint venture with Equitix, a UK based investor and fund manager of infrastructure assets.
The acquisition combines two separate transactions and marks one of the largest UK student accommodation deals agreed in 2018. Arlington now has 12,700 beds under management, making it one of the largest owners in the country.
The purchase combined 'The Stellar Portfolio' from Fusion Students and 'Merlin Heights' from a private owner. The portfolio of properties consists of five high-quality assets located in cities with top 30 ranked UK universities.
The Stellar Portfolio was purchased for more than the GBP 232 million asking price and constitutes 1,857 beds located in Russell Group university cities. This includes the cities of Newcastle, Nottingham, Cardiff and Bristol. The properties are currently being operated by Collegiate AC.
The privately-owned Merlin Heights scheme in Leicester contains 601 beds and was built by Watkin Jones in 2016. The site is currently managed by Fresh Student Living.
Commenting on the deal, Sean McKeown, Managing Direct at Arlington Advisors, said: "We are thrilled to bring 2018 to a close with this deal, which is one of the UK's largest PBSA portfolio transactions of the year. This acquisition builds on Arlington's track record within the student accommodation asset class which continues to offer attractive investment opportunities for our investors. We remain committed to expanding our activity within the sector with a strong pipeline already in place for 2019, where we expect to continue acquiring high-quality assets in premier city locations."
Fusion Students will reinvest the funds from the sale in its plans to expand in the UK and overseas. Nigel Henry, Co-Founder and Director of Fusion Students, said: "The sale of 'The Stellar Portfolio' is a significant step forward in our corporate development. Our focus is on delivering memorable and rewarding university experiences for students in newly-built buildings that are thoughtfully designed, conveniently located, featuring experiential events and much desired facilities."
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