Unite Students new development in Nottingham
Unite Students’ new development in Nottingham

A fund managed by Aventicum Real Estate, a real estate investment management platform affiliated with Credit Suisse, has acquired a portfolio of eight Unite Students properties, comprising 2,284 beds, for £133 million.

The portfolio includes properties in Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester, Coventry and Wolverhampton.

Aventicum Real Estate provides real estate investment solutions in Europe to high-net-worth individuals, family offices and institutional investors through co-mingled funds, separate-account, and co-investment opportunities. The company operates from offices in Zurich and London.

Real estate investment trust Unite Students said the sale is part of its portfolio management strategy which will see it exit a number of non-core markets to focus on high and mid-ranked universities.

Completion has taken place for the disposal of seven of the eight properties in the portfolio for £120 million. The disposal of one remaining property in Manchester for £13 million is expected to complete later this year.

Richard Smith, chief executive of Unite Students, said: “This disposal forms part of our target to dispose of £200-300 million of assets in 2021. The sale is consistent with our strategy of recycling assets to core markets, while delivering operational efficiencies.”

Last week Unite Students won planning approval for a 700-bed development on a former car showroom site in Nottingham next to the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus, which the company plans to open in time for the 2023/24 academic year. The total development costs will be £57 million and the building will be net-zero carbon, running on 100% renewable electricity with solar panels installed on the roof.

Nick Hayes, Unite Students’ group property director, said: “We are delighted to have secured planning approval for this exciting development, which allows us to deliver high-quality student accommodation that complements the surrounding area. The development supports our strategy of increasing our alignment to the strongest universities and will help to deliver operational efficiencies through greater scale in Nottingham.”

Unite Students provides accommodation for 76,000 students across 180 properties in 27 university towns and cities, partnering with more than 60 UK universities.

Date published: 30 March 2021

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