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GCC-backed firm becomes big UK student homes owner

KUWAIT, January 10, 2018

International investment firm Arlington, which represents Saudi and Kuwaiti investors, has become the seventh largest owner of student accommodation units in the UK after acquiring the operating portfolio of Russell Group university accommodation provider Study Inn.
 
The £135-million ($183 million) deal, involving the acquisition of 10 Study Inn sites spanning 1,494 rooms located in the university cities of Cambridge, Coventry, Nottingham and Sheffield, takes Arlington’s student accommodation portfolio to over 10,000 units with a total value of over £750 million ($1.01 billion), said a statement from the company.
 
This makes the firm, which represents Saudi and Kuwaiti investors, the seventh-largest owner of student accommodation in the UK. 
 
Arlington’s purchase of Study Inn’s portfolio was partly financed by a 38-year bond – the fifth long-dated bond to be issued by the firm, and was fully subscribed by funds managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments. 
 
The balance of the debt was provided by MetLife. Study Inn will continue to operate the Study Inn assets for Arlington under the Study Inn brand, it stated.
 
Commenting on the transaction, George Shweiry, the founder and CEO, said: "We are pleased with the growth in our portfolio. Reaching this prized position has only been made possible by the trust and backing of our investment partners in the Middle East."
 
“Our most recent acquisition marks a big milestone for Arlington and provides us with increased momentum as we continue to grow into 2018,” he stated. 
 
Sean McKeown, the managing director of Arlington Advisors, said: "The Study Inn service model adds a strong alternate product to the Arlington portfolio and shows how students can receive exceptional service at a sensible price in Russel Group cities where demand continues to grow."
 
The acquisition is the latest addition to Arlington’s portfolio. The UK group recently acquired from vendors Stelling & Co, for £40.5 million, a portfolio of four student accommodation assets located in the seaside cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, offering a combined total of 299 high-quality studio apartments.
 
Its other major student accommodation holdings include 1,445 beds acquired from Spectrum Housing Association and Sanctuary Housing Association in March 2016, with another 492 currently in development, said the company in its statement. 
 
In August 2016, the firm also acquired 951 beds in London and Leeds from Rockspring, as well as 4,539 beds from the portfolio of the former Opal Student Property Group in a £245 million transaction in February 2014, it added.-TradeArabia News Service



Tags: Saudi | Kuwait | GCC | UK |

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