London—Greystar Real Estate Partners announced that the company, in partnership with Goldman Sachs, has acquired a portfolio of student housing assets in the United Kingdom. The portfolio comprises 21 assets principally located in London, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool and represents the first acquisition undertaken by Greystar in the UK. The transaction closed on October 23, 2013.
“We are responding to continued strong demand from renters for professionally managed, institutional quality residential communities and that is our strength,” says Bob Faith, founder and CEO of Greystar. “Overall residential investment remains a very attractive near and long term growth market not just in the U.S., but also in other select markets globally, like the UK. Our operational strategies and expertise have positioned us for significant and sustained growth for many years ahead.”
The portfolio was acquired out of UK bankruptcy administration proceedings for the Opal Property Group. The portfolio comprises 21 student assets containing over 6,900 beds. The portfolio’s buildings and locations, as well as the fact that many of the properties are partnered with universities, made this an attractive purchase for Greystar. Greystar will execute a value-add capital improvement program on the portfolio that will include both interior and common area improvements.
“We were fortunate to identify a pool of assets that, in one transaction, allowed us to achieve the scale required to justify the development of a fully functional UK-based operational platform while also providing geographic diversification and exposure to several of the country’s top universities,” says Brett Lashley, managing director for Greystar in the United Kingdom. “Greystar will invest heavily in these assets to improve the resident living experience and make each property a more attractive and competitive alternative to other properties in their respective markets.”
This transaction comes on the heels of other large portfolio acquisitions and investments the company has made in 2013, totaling over $3 billion. Earlier this year Greystar partnered with Goldman Sachs and other partners to acquire a $1.5 billion portfolio of multifamily assets owned by Equity Residential.
Greystar and Goldman Sachs were advised by Macquarie Capital.