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Unite Student Housing is the UK’s largest provider of purpose-built student accommodation. Set up in Bristol in 1991, the firm now provides students with accommodation designed to enhance security, comfort and style across 26 towns and cities. Unite was registered on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 1998, and progressed to the London Stock Exchange in 1998; the share price is now at an impressive 616.50 pence.
Eugene O’Sullivan, Surveyor and Director at Morgan Pryce, says: “The success of Unite was largely driven by the fact there were no student housing providers in the market supplying this sort of offering. It was a new concept delivered at a sustainable price, and the company quickly built strong relationships with many universities all over the UK. At the time, they had a monopoly on the market which allowed for rapid expansion, but now there are a few more contenders out there.”
In a bid to release capital and improve their development pipeline, Unite has sold 13 assets to Brookfield for £285m. The portfolio is made up of assets in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and York, earning Unite £102m. The company also has plans to sell up to an additional £200m worth of assets in 2017 and will use most of the capital to fund the acquisition of 3100-bed ‘on campus’ accommodation at Aston University, Birmingham.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.