GSA acquires €400m Dublin portfolio from Harrison Street

University accommodation investor Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA) has acquired a portfolio of five Dublin properties from its joint venture partner, Chicago-based alternative real estate investor Harrison Street, in a €400 mln deal.

Under the terms of the transaction GSA will acquire Harrison Street’s interest in the 1,971-bed Dublin portfolio, consolidating GSA’s position in Dublin.

Nicholas Porter, chairman at GSA Group, said: 'This transaction underpins GSA’s global growth strategy and our plans for expansion in the region, helping to generate increased opportunity and value for our investors and partners.

'We are delighted with the progress we have made in Dublin through this joint venture, exceeding our business plan targets and further establishing our reputation as a trusted provider.'

GSA, which started investing in Dublin assets about five years ago, said it would retain the ongoing operations and investment management of the five properties. The assets include Ardcairn House, Kavanagh Court, New Mill, The Tannery, and Broadstone Hall and all primarily serve students at Trinity College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, TU Dublin Grangegorman, and University College Dublin.

The portfolio has an average 97% occupancy rate and all properties have been delivered to date with the exception of Kavanagh Court Phase II, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.

GSA will also continue to partner with Harrison Street across Ireland and other European markets, including a separate JV across Dublin and Cork consisting of 1,300 beds with a further planned pipeline.

Rob Mathias, senior managing director for Harrison Street, said: 'This portfolio transaction is representative of Harrison Street’s ability to execute on our strategy of developing high-quality PBSA properties with best-in-class partners in top-tier European university markets backed by favourable demographics.

'GSA has a deep familiarity with these properties, and we are pleased to build on our strong partnership with them as we continue to identify attractive investment opportunities on behalf of our limited partners.'

Bank of Ireland supported GSA in the acquisition.

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