CPPIB in £330m UK student housing deal

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has acquired a portfolio of five student accommodation residences via one of its UK subsidiaries.  

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), via one of its subsidiaries, has acquired a student accommodation portfolio in the UK for £330 million (€465.6 million; $510.4 million).

The portfolio of five student accommodation residences was acquired by CPPIB Liberty Living, the subsidiary formed by CPPIB after its acquisition of Liberty Living, one of the UK’s largest student accommodation providers, for £1.1 billion in March this year.

The five residences comprise a total of 2,153 beds in five universities in the UK cities of Cardiff, London, Manchester, Newcastle, and Bristol. The assets will be rebranded as Liberty Living buildings. For Liberty Living, the residence in Bristol will be its first asset in the city while, in all the other cities, it has held other assets, according to a company statement. 

“Liberty Living has grown historically through the acquisition of developed assets, both individually and as portfolios,” said Charles Marshall, the firm’s chief executive officer. “The opportunity to acquire these five high-quality residences from Student Castle is a coherent next step in growing our operational portfolio, given the high specification, modernity and location of these assets.”

Jacqui Hawthorn, chief operating officer of student accommodation provider Student Castle, further added: “We are immensely proud of our success in producing such high-quality assets and will continue to be the leaders in the development and operation of high-quality student accommodation in the UK, and we are pleased to have made a portfolio sale to CPPIB Liberty Living, a major investor in the student accommodation market.”

Following the deal, CPPIB Liberty Living now owns and manages a portfolio of around 19,000 beds in 18 cities. According to CPPIB’s latest annual report, the $268.6 billion fund had 11.5 percent of its portfolio invested in real estate.