Unite fund buys student accommodation portfolio for £271m from Bahrain bank

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UNITE STUDENTS, the developer and manager of student accommodation, has snapped up a 2,100-bed portfolio for £271m.

The portfolio, acquired from Bahrain-based Ahli United Bank, comprises eight modern, high quality assets located across seven prime student accommodation markets.

Unite made the acquisition through the Unite Students Accommodation Fund, in which it is the largest investor with a 22 per cent stake.

Five of the assets are located in existing markets, London, Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham, with the capital representing 36 per cent of the total portfolio.

The other three assets are located in new markets, Oxford, Durham and York, that all offer growth potential.

The acquisition increases Unite Students Accommodation Fund’s property portfolio value by 16 per cent from £1.64bn to £1.91bn, comprising 26,920 beds in 76 properties across 25 UK towns and cities.

The purchase price represents a net initial yield of 5 per cent.

Mark Allan, CEO of Unite Students said: “Following its recent capital raising, we are delighted that USAF has been able to complete the acquisition of one of the highest quality portfolios in the market.

“The portfolio is highly complementary to USAF’s existing portfolio and we see real opportunities to drive additional value through the introduction of our brand and operating platform as well as specific asset management opportunities.”