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Arlington buys major UK student accommodation

KUWAIT CITY, January 3, 2019

Arlington Investors, the pioneering investment manager, on behalf of private investors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Lebanon, has acquired a portfolio of 2,458 beds of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) as the majority partner in a joint venture with Equitix, one of the UK’s leading infrastructure fund managers.

The direct-let portfolio consists of five high-quality buildings, all recently built and centrally located in cities with top 30 UK ranked universities; Bristol, Leicester, Nottingham, Cardiff, and Newcastle.

The £280-million ($354 million) acquisition is one of the largest UK student accommodation transactions of 2018 and further solidifies Arlington’s position as the largest independent owner of student accommodation in the UK, with a portfolio of over 12,700 beds, said a top official.

"We are thrilled to bring 2018 to a close with this acquisition, which is one of the UK’s largest PBSA portfolio transactions of the year. This acquisition builds on Arlington’s track record within the student accommodation asset class which continues to offer attractive investment opportunities for our investors," remarked its CEO George Shweiry.

This transaction is Arlington’s ninth acquisition in the sector, and the seventh to be funded with long-dated debt, he stated.

Despite the wider political and economic uncertainty in the UK surrounding the recent Brexit negotiations, the sector remains resilient, with continued strong levels of investment activity, he added.

In the nine months to September 30, 2018, there have been £2.5 billion of transactions completed, and according to leading real estate agency Jones Lang LaSalle, it is expected that investment volumes for 2018 will be in line with the historic five-year average of £3.3 billion, said the UK group in its statement.

The senior financing for the transaction has been provided by one of the UK’s biggest insurance groups, in the form of a 44-year fully-amortising loan, which received a strong credit rating, making this the first direct-let student accommodation acquisition in the UK to have secured such rating, it stated.
 
"We remain committed to expanding our activity within the sector with a strong pipeline already in place for 2019, where we expect to continue acquiring high-quality assets in premier city locations," remarked Shweiry.

"We are pleased to have partnered with Equitix, one of the leading UK infrastructure investors, in what is Arlington’s most substantial acquisition to date and what we envisage will be a platform for future investments," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi | Kuwait | Arlington |

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