iQ snaps up two UK PBSA properties from Downing Students

iQ Student Accommodation has acquired two new purpose-built student accommodation properties in London and Edinburgh, from Downing Students.

The Blackstone portfolio company has allegedly paid around £370 mln (€424 mln).

Vega and The Mont are both high-quality, PBSA assets with best-in-class amenities for residents.

Vega is located in Vauxhall, London, close to key transport links and top-tier universities. It has 841 beds and was built to a BREEAM Excellent standard. Amenities include a gym, private dining area, sky lounge, and roof terrace.

The Mont is a brand-new property located in Edinburgh, a short walk from the University of Edinburgh's Central Area and the historic city center. It has 324 beds and amenities include a cinema room, private dining area, gym, and residents lounge.

The acquisition of these two properties strengthens iQ Student Accommodation's position as one of the UK's leading providers of student housing.

Matt Merrick, CEO of iQ student accommodation, said: ‘We are delighted to be expanding our portfolio of high-quality, well-located student accommodation in these two capital cities, home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world, and where supply continues to fall short of demand. This builds on recent acquisitions in Glasgow, Nottingham and Warwick, as iQ and Blackstone continue to invest in Russell Group markets where student growth is highest.’

Samir Amichi, head of real estate acquisitions Europe, Blackstone, added: ‘We are delighted to have partnered with Downing Students on these transactions and with Vega and The Mont in its portfolio, iQ will add further capacity to its best in-class offering for student housing, an area in which we will continue to deploy capital with conviction.’

Bay Downing, investment director at Downing, commented: ‘This transaction will enhance our ability to accelerate the expansion of our pipeline. We have strong ambitions for the growth of Downing Students and Downing Living, and going forward, we will seek co-investment opportunities with the right partners.’

Blackstone bought iQ Student Accommodation from Goldman Sachs for £4.7 bn (€5.4 bn) in 2020.

iQ now owns and operates 81 properties with over 33,000 beds close to leading UK universities.


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