Charleston, S.C.—Greystar Real Estate Partners announced that the company, in partnership with Goldman Sachs, has entered into an agreement to purchase a portfolio of UK student housing assets out of the bankruptcy administration proceedings for the Opal Property Group. The agreement was signed on September 25th and the acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of October.
The portfolio comprises 21 assets principally located in London, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool and represents the first acquisition undertaken by Greystar in the UK.
“This transaction aligns perfectly with Greystar’s strategy to acquire assets that, while fundamentally sound, will benefit greatly from our organization’s track record of repositioning and improving assets in order to provide a superior living experience for our residents ,” said Bob Faith, founder and CEO of Greystar. “While there will be minor operational differences between our US and European assets, we firmly believe the combination of well amenitized accommodations and best in class customer service is a very basic requirement, irrespective of geographic location or culture.”
Greystar is the largest operator of apartment communities in the United States, with more 215,000 apartments under management. The company specializes in conventional and student living assets, operating principally in the US, but is also expanding into Mexico. Greystar has a stated intention to establish itself as a leading player in the UK student and private rented sectors and believes this portfolio will provide a strong foundation from which to build a platform of scale in the coming years.
“This transaction provides access to a number of well-located but under-managed assets that we believe will be the first of many acquisitions in this sector,” said Brett Lashley, managing director for Greystar in the United Kingdom. “By leveraging our long term partnership with the team at Goldman Sachs, we’re bringing our operational skills, expertise and capital to the UK. Our objective is to quickly become a major participant and thought leader in a market providing high quality accommodations for students both in London and the regions.”
Greystar and Goldman Sachs were advised by Macquarie Capital.