Belfast Telegraph

Unite sells portfolio of student accommodation to fund manager for £295m

Student accommodation developer Unite has sold off 13 properties to fund manager Brookfield for £295 million.

The sale includes a portfolio of properties located in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and York totalling 4,175 beds.

Unite said its share of the deal amounts to £102 million, with the cash being used to fund further growth in mid- to high-ranked university locations with the most secure long-term growth prospects.

Part of the proceeds will be injected into Unite's recent 3,100 bed on-campus acquisition at Aston University and the remainder "recycled into Unite's development activity".

Chief executive Richard Smith said: "This sale is an important part of our strategy to recycle capital to fund our ongoing investments, focused on the strongest university towns and cities, where we have deep university relationships and where we can provide the best accommodation and services for our students.

"Our development pipeline supports further earnings growth as we continue to invest in strong student markets."

Unite said the move marks the first stage of a plan to recycle around £150 million to £200 million of assets during 2017 to take advantage of the "ongoing strength in the investment market for well let student accommodation".