Purpose built student accommodation provider Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA) has acquired 27 US properties from UCAL, the joint venture with University Communities and the California State Teachers Retirement Fund

The deal involves 8,000 beds across 19 cities and 18 states from coast to coast in the US.

London-based GSA said it also acquired the property management company UComm and has entered a forward arrangement with University Communities to work together in partnership on acquiring and developing future student housing properties in the US.

Will Rowson, chief executive of GSA Investment Management, said: “Entering the US market and building a presence is another significant step for GSA. We have been patient to source the right opportunity that fits with our investment criteria and we are very pleased to have secured a major foothold across the country. We are confident this acquisition will enable us to develop significant scale, deliver on our investor promise and, most importantly, refresh the sector with our global student experience. Education is a life choice for students and their families, at GSA we can now offer true global access to safe, secure and engaging communities that fit the demands of today’s student”.

Randy Fein, co-founder of University Communities, said: “This is a great transaction for the team at University Communities. It is also a significant milestone for the student housing industry as we were one of the first institutional players in the sector”.

Lee Ryder, co-founder of University Communities, added: “We are passionate about the business that we have built and we have therefore been determined to choose a company that shares our values and resembles the culture of University Communities. Working together in partnership offers an opportunity to further develop on what we have accomplished over many years. We are looking forward to a new and accelerated acquisition and development programme with GSA.”

Date published: 15 January 2021

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