Duo join together to create £1bn UK PBSA and co-living joint venture

Host's Castle Street scheme in Leicester

Partners Group, a global private markets firm, acting on behalf of its clients, and student accommodation developer and operator Host Student Housing have formed a new £1bn UK student accommodation and co-living joint venture.

Host, in conjunction with Tiger Developments, is part of the O’ Flynn Group of companies which has extensive interests in the property sector in Ireland..

The joint venture is seeded with two Host-owned operational Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) assets in Leicester and Colchester, a PBSA development project in Bournemouth and a co-living development project in Guildford.

The JV has an immediate identified pipeline of over £250m of PBSA developments totalling more than 1,000 beds in the Russell Group university markets of Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh and Birmingham.

Partners Group and Host say they intend to expand the JV through further developments in the PBSA and co-living sectors, creating a portfolio of £1bn GDV.

Rahul Ghai, managing director, co-head private real estate Europe, Partners Group, said: “A return to normality and strong demand fundamentals are making the post-COVID student accommodation sector in the UK an attractive investment opportunity. The sector is a key thematic focus for us and benefits from long-term tailwinds, such as favourable population growth trends and rising enrolment rates, as well as the continued strength of the UK’s higher education offering globally. The JV has a robust pipeline, and we look forward to hosting students across some of the most dynamic cities in the country.”

Peter Holden, managing director, co-head real estate asset management, Partners Group, added: “We look forward to working with Host in this Joint Venture to continue to provide safe, energy-efficient assets to meet the increasing need for good value housing in key undersupplied university cities throughout the UK.”

John Nesbitt, managing director at Host, said: “Host is excited to be working in joint venture with Partners Group. We have a shared ambition to build a new portfolio of top quality PBSA and Co-Living projects in the ‘Living’ sector, which offers strong sector fundamentals and growth.”

Michael O’ Flynn, chairman and CEO of the O’ Flynn Group, said “Our experience over 25 years in providing student accommodation in Ireland, the UK and across Europe will clearly benefit the joint venture. This is a unique opportunity, through Host, to collaborate with Partners Group in the development of PBSA and co-living projects. The scale of the joint venture will quickly position the JV as a leading player in a sector with significant growth potential.”

JLL Corporate finance has advised Host on the joint venture with Partners Group.