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Unite Group Confirm Purchase of Liberty Living

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Unite Group has confirmed it is to buy student accommodation provider Liberty Living from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CCPIB).

The deal will result in a group that manages 73,000 beds across 27 university towns and cities in the UK.

Unite will buy Liberty's UK assets and 24,021 beds from CPPIB in a £1.4bn cash and stock deal, with the Canadian fund retaining a 20% stake in the group.

Once complete, the new portfolio will have a value of approximately £5.2bn, with 173 properties under management.

Richard Smith, Unite's chief executive, said: "By combining two highly complementary portfolios, the enlarged group will be well positioned to meet the growing need for affordable, high-quality student accommodation."

Unite is expected to leverage its scale and operating platform to deliver £15m of annual cost synergies from 2021, with material earnings accretion from 2020 onwards.

Unite has also announced the placing of 26 million new ordinary shares to part fund the cash element of the acquisition, with approximately £240 million to be raised.

The acquisition represents a Class 1 transaction for Unite and will, therefore, require the approval of shareholders, which could take place on 23 July 2019.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of Q3 this year.