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Europa launches UK student housing JV

The London-based private equity real estate firm has teamed up with student accommodation developer, Generation Estates, and seeded the venture with an initial £165m portfolio.

Europa Capital Partners and London-based developer and operator of student housing, Generation Estates, have established a UK student accommodation vehicle – The Europa Generation Student Fund.

The pair will invest in purpose-built student accommodation through forward-funding of new developments, direct development and selective investment acquisitions.

Europa has used its balance sheet to acquire an initial £165 million ($210 million; €188 million) seed portfolio, comprising 1,705 beds in six schemes currently being developed by Watkin Jones Group, UK student housing developer. The assets are situated in Oxford, Bath, Newcastle, Sheffield, Aberdeen and Bournemouth.

The pair intend to build a portfolio of around 5,000 beds over the next few years.

“Europa Generation is being launched to capitalise on the continuing shortfall of high quality purpose built student accommodation in top tier university towns and cities across the UK as illustrated by the seed portfolio we have secured,” commented Hugo Black, partner at Europa Capital.

Earlier this month the firm inked its first deal through the firm’s new core-plus platform. The London-based private equity real estate firm bought a 237,000-square foot office property in Munich on behalf of Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate, which owns a majority stake in Europa through its subsidiary, the New York-based Rockefeller Group.

Europa is best known for its series of value-added funds. The firm is currently fundraising for Europa Fund V, which was launched in September 2015 with a €750 million target, according to PERE data.

Since inception in 1995, Europa Capital has collectively raised nine real estate funds and committed to over 105 transactions totalling more than €9.5 billion across 19 European countries.