Deutsche Finance completes first fund exit with UK student sale

Deutsche Finance International (DFI), the London based pan-European private equity real estate investor specialising in operational real estate, has sold a student residential asset in Canterbury in the UK in an off-market transaction to a private investor.

Financial details were not disclosed.

According the DFI, the sale of Canterbury Student Manor marks the first disposal for DFI’s inaugural fund, DFI European value add fund (DFI EVAF), which closed in July this year with €436 mln of equity, including co-investment.

On behalf of DFI EVAF and its co-investors, DFI has already assembled a portfolio, totalling approximately €1 bn in value, that includes London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre and which is diversified across five European markets.

'To have sold this property two years ahead of our business plan, having already successfully repositioned it for long term investors, illustrates our capacity to actively create value in operational real estate and unlock the full potential of our portfolio,' said Gavin Neilan, co-founder and co-managing partner at DFI.

Since acquiring Canterbury Student Manor in 2017, DFI has undertaken a programme of active asset management to increase occupancy from 79% to 100%, delivering a corresponding uplift in the property’s income profile.

Canterbury Student Manor, which was acquired by DFI in an off-market transaction in 2017, is a 386-bed, purpose-built modern student accommodation asset located in Canterbury, in the UK’s south east.

Paul Nearchou, director at DFI, said: 'The favourable dynamics we identified as part of our investment thesis that underpin the Canterbury market, including a growing student population and an undersupply of quality accommodation, enabled us to maximise the quality of this property and, ultimately, to crystallise attractive returns on behalf of our investors ahead of schedule.'


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