Patron, Curation and Leumi punt on London student digs

Patron Capital, the pan-European institutional property investor, has made a third acquisition on behalf of its joint venture with Curation Capital, a London-based real estate investment manager that invests in student accommodation, co-living, private residential and flexible office space. 

The joint venture acquires and refurbishes existing student properties located in towns and cities that are linked with Russell Group or tier one universities.

The joint venture partners have acquired Francis Gardner, a 70-bed development in London. Located in West Hampstead, the development benefits from close proximity to the city’s numerous universities and higher education establishments, with a total student population of more than 300,000.

Keith Breslauer, managing director at Patron Capital, said: 'With a number of world class universities and specialist higher education establishments, alongside its renowned collection of museums and cultural sites, London remains a popular destination for students from across the globe, so we are pleased to add Francis Gardner to our portfolio.

'Withs its resilience to current economic headwinds and attractive supply and demand imbalance, student accommodation remains a compelling investment proposition.'

Almero Student is managing the assets purchased by the investment vehicle. Founded in 2013, Almero currently runs sites accommodating more than 1,000 students, with sites in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds, Exeter, York and Oxford.

Funding for the joint venture came from Patron Capital’s Fund VI. In addition, specialist lender Leumi UK said it had provided £8.29 mln (€9.64 mln) of acquisition and refurbishment financing. 

Michael Haverty, founding partner at Curation Capital, said: 'We are delighted to have made our third acquisition into the vehicle with our investment partner, Patron Capital, demonstrating the partnership’s commitment to growing the strategy.

'The Franics Gardner acquisition offers a fantastic opportunity to own an asset in one of the best student markets in the world. We intend to follow this investment with further acquisitions throughout this year and beyond.'

Christopher Stallard, relationship director at Leumi UK, added: 'With demand for student housing vastly outstripping supply, there is now evidence that the high cost of studying in London is leading to a stalling in UK students studying in the capital.

'We want to ensure that the housing infrastructure is there to support students studying in London and retain the city’s reputation as one of the most popular education destinations worldwide.'

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