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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