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Advising Fusion Students on the sale of Stellar Purpose Built Student Accommodation portfolio

Posted on 30 January 2019

Advising Fusion Students on sale of Stellar Purpose Built Student Accommodation portfolio

Mishcon de Reya advised innovative university accommodation developer Fusion Students on the sale of its 'Stellar Portfolio', comprising four Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) assets.

The buildings are located in the UK Russell Group cities of Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle and Nottingham and total over 1,850 beds. The portfolio was acquired by a joint venture between UK property and infrastructure investors Arlington Advisors and Equitix, for over £230m and marks one of the largest purely regional PBSA portfolio transactions in 2018 measured by sale value and number of beds.

The Mishcon team was led by Corporate Partner Dean Poster, with support from Real Estate Partners Nick Doffman and Ed Hughes-Power, and comprised Corporate Tax Partner Gary Richards, Corporate Managing Associate Pippa Williamson, Corporate Associates Leanne Maund and Lydia Kellett, Tax Associate Leonie Byers and Corporate Trainee Alexandra Agnew. 

The transaction builds upon the Real Estate department's established relationship with Fusion. The team's work has included advising Fusion on the development and financing aspects of Cardiff Quarters, a 674 unit development as part of a larger city regeneration scheme; as well as acting on the acquisition, development, planning and rights of light aspects of a new scheme in Liverpool that will be home to 418 students.

Complementing the work with Fusion, in the past year Mishcon de Reya's Corporate and Real Estate departments have developed a leading position in the student accommodation market, demonstrating specialist expertise whilst acting for Brookfield's 'Student Roost' business on the purchase of the 'Enigma Portfolio', comprising fifteen purpose built student accommodation blocks; as well as advising Stonehill Holdings on a joint venture for the development of the largest non-campus student residence in continental Europe.

Group Managing Director Adam Cohen commented: "Working with the Mishcon team has once again proved seamless with their constant support, calmness and invaluable commercial knowledge of the market. This significant transaction will enable us to speed up expanding PBSA developments in the UK, as well as overseas, where there is increased opportunity to dramatically improve the current student accommodation on offer."

Dean Poster commented: "We are looking forward to witnessing the expansion of Fusion's developments. Their innovative and thoughtfully designed PBSA buildings represent a modern and high quality alternative for student housing in the UK, which over the past years has been increasingly sought out. 

The student accommodation market remains globally competitive and continues to maintain a thriving platform for investment opportunities."

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