CPPIB Liberty Living buys five student residences in U.K. for $670 mln

CPPIB Liberty Living Inc has purchased a portfolio of five student accommodation residences from Student Castle, a provider of university student housing in the United Kingdom. CPPIB Liberty Living paid £330 million (about $670 million) for the assets, which comprise a total of 2,153 beds in five major university cities. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) acquired Liberty Living, a U.K. student accommodation specialist, in March 2015. The pension fund manager paid about US$1.67 billion for the business.


CPPIB Liberty Living Acquires Five Residences from the Student Castle portfolio

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM–(Marketwired – Aug. 10, 2015) – CPPIB Liberty Living Inc. (“CPPIB Liberty Living”) today announced that it has acquired a portfolio of five student accommodation residences with a total of 2,153 beds in five major university cities from Student Castle for a consideration of £330 million. CPPIB Liberty Living is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPPIB”) which acquired the Liberty Living business in March 2015, including the operating company trading under the name Liberty Living.

The five assets CPPIB Liberty Living is acquiring from Student Castle are comprised of high-quality residences in some of the top university cities in the U.K. Four of the buildings – Cardiff, London, Manchester and Newcastle – are in cities where Liberty Living already has a strong presence and will complement the portfolio. The fifth building is in Bristol, where Liberty Living has not previously owned assets, a key university city in which the company would like to grow its activities.

“Liberty Living has grown historically through the acquisition of developed assets, both individually and as portfolios,” said Charles Marshall, CEO, Liberty Living. “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 the assets. We believe this transaction is an excellent example of the marriage of CPPIB’s long-term capital to the Liberty Living operating platform to acquire top-quality assets in the sector.”

“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 U.K., and are pleased to have made a portfolio sale to CPPIB Liberty Living, a major investor in the student accommodation market,” said Jacqui Hawthorn Chief Operating Officer, Student Castle. “Student Castle’s pipeline of developments in York, Cambridge, Durham, Oxford, Bath & Glasgow – to name a few – will certainly keep us focused for the next few years.”

The newly acquired assets will be rebranded as Liberty Living buildings and integrated into the wider operating business in the next few months.

About Liberty Living
Liberty Living is one of the largest student accommodation providers in the United Kingdom and is one of the longest-standing and most highly regarded owners and operators in the sector. Established in 2000, it was acquired by CPPIB Liberty Living in March 2015 as a vehicle for further expansion in this asset class. Together with the Student Castle acquisition, it owns and manages a portfolio of approximately 19,000 beds in 46 residences in 18 cities.

About Student Castle
Edward Cade and Jacqui Hawthorn started Student Castle in 2010 after 12 years spent developing 5,000 student rooms across the UK. They are fast developing their vision of next-generation student accommodation for all. Working behind the scenes to help Student Castle grow are Sir Charles Dunstone and Roger Taylor, Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively of the Dixons Carphone Group. Sir Charles and Roger were keen to invest in quality student accommodation, and forming Student Castle was the obvious choice.

Liberty Living
Charles Marshall
Chief Executive Officer
020 7398 7432

Student Castle
Jacqui Hawthorn
Chief Operating Officer
020 7183 7764

Photo courtesy of SummerLettings.co.uk