£165m deal struck for four student accommodation sites

Portland Crescent in Leeds
X The Business Desk

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Property firm Vita Group has concluded sales worth more than £165m with a Singapore buyer.

The Alderley Edge-based business said Singapore’s leading development, investment, capital, and property management company – Mapletree Investments Pte – has agreed a deal exceeding £165m to purchase four Vita Student residences, demonstrating clear confidence in the UK purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) market and the Vita Student brand

The portfolio is split across four sites and totals 917 beds. It includes prominent Vita Student assets which have delivered consistent high occupancy levels since their inception including Portland Crescent in Leeds, Station Street in Nottingham, Zed Alley in Bristol, and Portland House in Exeter.

Vita Group will continue to manage operations for the four sites operating under the Vita Student brand.

The deal will enable Vita to continue to develop its platform, with new brands launching and a robust pipeline of projects outlined for the next five years.

Legal advisors CMS and Shoosmiths, together with financial adviser PWC, acted on behalf of Vita Group while Mapletree was advised by Baker McKenzie for legal work, EY for finance and tax and Paragon for technical. Savills Capital Advisors introduced and led the transaction.

Mark Stott, Vita Group chief executive, said: “We’re excited to partner strategically with Mapletree, agreeing the sale of four assets.

“In securing this deal, it provides the business with the capital and the confidence to continue to develop the Vita Group platform to thrive, with an ever-increasing future pipeline of projects.”

Mapletree’s deputy group chief executive, Mr Chua Tiow Chye, said: “This acquisition of four high quality assets will enhance the scale and reach of our PBSA presence in the UK.

“Mapletree will continue to expand its global footprint in this asset class for its attractive long term growth prospects supported by strong fundamentals of domestic and international students’ demand.”

Savills director, Ralph Watson, said: “Savills is delighted to have advised the Vita Group on another significant transaction.

“The sale of this excellent portfolio to one of Singapore’s best known institutional investors reinforces the attractiveness of Vita’s product, service model and platform capabilities, as well as the continued interest in the UK’s student accommodation sector from investors attracted to both its resilience and future growth prospects.”