Singapore’s SPH acquires student housing assets worth $174.3m in UK

Photo: Reuters

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has acquired $174.3 million (£133.7 million) worth of student housing assets in the UK, increasing its portfolio by 1,243 beds to 5,059 across 20 assets in 10 cities.

According to a statement, SPH’s wholly owned subsidiaries, Straits Five, Straits Six and Straits Eight, have entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Habitus Holdings, Privilege Holdings, Privilege Southampton Holdings and AIGGRE Europe Real Estate Fund I GP.

The portfolio is spread across three UK cities – Southampton, Sheffield and Leeds – and comes with a rental guarantee that covers the academic years of 2018/19 and 2019/2020. All three cities enjoy full-time student populations and robust occupancy rates of over 90 per cent.

The transaction was completed on April 16, 2019.

Ng Yat Chung, CEO of SPH said: “Since our first Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) investment in September 2018, we have now successfully completed four acquisitions in the UK. These acquisitions are high quality, cash-yielding assets in key student cities in the UK and will enhance our recurring income going forward. We remain disciplined in our acquisition pipeline to build our UK PBSA portfolio to a platform of scale.”

SPH’s PBSA portfolio currently has a total capacity of 5,059 beds across 20 assets in 10 cities. The AUM is over $442.8 million (S$600 million), with a team of 5 in the UK and 8 in Singapore, overseeing over 100 employees managing the assets.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.