Owner, manager and developer of student accommodation – Unite Students – has announced it has sold a portfolio of eight properties to Aventicum Real Estate – for £133m (Unite Students share is £90m). Combined, the properties include 2,284 student beds. The transaction marks Aventicum Real Estate’s first investment in the student accommodation sector in the UK.
The portfolio of student properties include asset in Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Exeter – and has nomination agreements covering 28% of beds on short-term contracts.
The sales are part of the Group’s proactive portfolio management strategy which will see the company exit a number of subscale markets while improving alignment to high and mid-ranked universities. The disposals are priced at an NOI yield of 6.5% and a 2% discount to prevailing book value.
Completion has now occurred for the disposal of seven of the eight properties in the portfolio for £120m (Unite Students share is £77m). The final property to be sold in Manchester is expected to complete in H2 2021 and sold for £13m (Unite Students share is £13m).
“This disposal forms part of our target to dispose of £200-300m of assets in 2021. The sale is consistent with our strategy of increasing our exposure to high and mid-ranked universities where demand is strongest, while delivering operational efficiencies that contribute towards our target for an improvement in our EBIT margin to 74% by the end of 2023.”Richard Smith, Chief Executive, Unite Students