CPPIB in £1.1bn UK student housing foray

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has entered the UK student accommodation market with the acquisition of Liberty Living.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has acquired a 100 percent stake in UK student housing portfolio, Liberty Living, for £1.1 billion (€1.52 billion; $1.67billion).

CPPIB acquired the portfolio of student housing from the Brandeaux Student Accommodation Fund and, as part of the transaction, also acquired 100 percent of the Liberty Living management platform to create a single, integrated company under the Liberty Living brand.

CPPIB acquired the portfolio following a competitive auction process.

“As a long-term investor, this is an exciting investment for CPPIB and an ideal platform through which we can build further scale, capitalizing on Liberty Living's position as one of the leading operators in the UK student accommodation sector,” commented Andrea Orlandi, managing director and head of real estate investments Europe at CPPIB.

“This sector is an attractive one for CPPIB and we expect to see continued demand for well-located and well-managed student residences such as those within the Liberty Living portfolio.”

Liberty Living is one of the UK's largest student accommodation providers with more than 40 residences located in 17 of the largest university towns and cities across the UK, containing over 16,700 rooms.

Headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Hong Kong, London, New York City and Sao Paulo, CPPIB has assets under management of C$238.8 billion (€174 billion; $191 billion), C$26.3 billion of which represented real estate investments.

Macquarie Capital advised CPPIB on the transaction.