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IQSA Plans London IPO

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Reports have emerged that suggest iQ Student Accommodation (IQSA) is close to hiring banks to oversee an initial public offering (IPO) in London.

IQSA is one of the largest providers of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in the UK, with a portfolio value of £3.5bn as of Sept 2018.

The business is primarily owned by Goldman Sachs, with Wellcome Trust also holding a substantial share. A third shareholder, Greystar, owns a small stake by virtue of its previous ownership of Prodigy Living, which merged with IQSA in 2016.

It is expected that an IPO of the business will face a high level of scrutiny in the city. IQSA has been chaired since last year by Penny Hughes, who also chairs Aston Martin, which has turned into one of the worst-performing IPOs the London market has seen for years, with shares down 75% since its float.

Furthermore, Ms Hughes has two existing listed company chairmanships with corporate governance guidelines stipulating that an individual should hold, at most, two such roles.

Plans to go public are still being drawn up, with the option of a private sale still on the table.

IQSA controls 67 assets in 27 university towns and cities across the UK, providing more than 28,000 beds.