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Unite Group PLC (UTG)

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Monday 31 March, 2014

Unite Group PLC

Outcome of USAF Fund Raising

RNS Number : 5435D
Unite Group PLC
31 March 2014
 



 

 

31 March 2014




 

THE UNITE GROUP PLC

("UNITE", the "Group", or the "Company")

 

OUTCOME OF USAF FUND RAISING

 

The UNITE Student Accommodation Fund ("USAF", "the Fund") successfully completed a fundraising on 28th March 2014, raising £106 million of new equity. £55 million was invested by UNITE, of which approximately £50 million represented the planned deployment of proceeds from its own recent equity fundraising with the remainder funded from existing cash resources. A further £51 million was invested by a combination of other existing and new institutional investors. USAF will initially use the funds to reduce leverage but the capital raised also provides capacity for the Fund to consider acquisitions that would grow and enhance its portfolio.

 

Following the capital raise, USAF's loan-to-value ratio falls to 35% and UNITE's stake increases to approximately 21%.

 

Commenting on the transaction, Joe Lister, UNITE's Chief Financial Officer, said:

 

"We are very pleased with the successful conclusion to USAF's capital raising and are delighted to be increasing our own stake in the Fund to 21%, demonstrating our confidence in the longer term prospects for the Fund's high quality portfolio. The positive response of existing and new institutional investors shows the increasing appeal of student accommodation as an investment asset class and USAF's position as the pre-eminent fund in the sector.

 

"The Fund will initially use the proceeds to reduce leverage but will also be considering acquisition opportunities."

 

ENDS

 

For further information, please contact:

The UNITE Group plc

Sally Quigg, Head of Corporate Communications

 

Tel: +44 117 302 7070

 

Bell Pottinger

Victoria Geoghegan

Nick Lambert

Elizabeth Snow

 

Tel: +44 20 7861 3925

 

 

Notes to editors:

About the UNITE UK Student Accommodation Fund ('USAF')

USAF is an open-ended non-listed real estate fund that focuses on acquiring and operating high quality student accommodation in the UK.

 

USAF is the largest specialist student accommodation fund. It currently holds a portfolio of 63 properties valued at over £1.3 billion which are located in 20 markets across the UK providing over 21,000 bed spaces.

 

Established in December 2006, USAF initially raised equity capital totalling £370 million from UK and European institutional property investors. It was initially seeded with a £515 million portfolio comprising 31 properties acquired from UNITE Group. USAF has raised further capital periodically, with the most recent capital raise concluded in March 2014.

 

USAF has over 100 investors, with UNITE being the largest with a current co-investment stake of approximately 21%. UNITE also acts as manager of USAF and operates its properties.

 

About UNITE

 

UNITE is the UK's leading manager and developer of student accommodation. We provide a home for 41,000 students in over 120 purpose built properties across 23 of the UK's strongest university towns and cities. We have nearly 1,000 employees and work in partnership with over 50 higher education providers, as well as renting rooms directly to students. In May 2013 UNITE was awarded Student Accommodation Provider of the Year at Property Week's RESI Awards.

 

Our culturally-diverse customers are at the heart of our business and we aim to provide a home for students that supports their success, whether defined as academic achievement, personal growth or employability. Our properties provide high quality, well-located, safe accommodation that is close to university campuses, transport and local amenities. Our rent includes a study bedroom, all bills, insurance, 24-hour security and high speed Wi-Fi throughout our buildings.

 

Founded in 1991, UNITE is a FTSE 250 company listed on the London Stock Exchange. We are pursuing a sustainable growth strategy designed to make the most of the resilient nature of the student accommodation sector. We aim to maintain the strongest brand in the sector and operate the highest quality portfolio through consistent investment in and improvement to our operating platform, highly selective development activity, asset management initiatives and portfolio recycling.

 

In addition to our wholly owned properties, we are also invested in and operate a small number of specialist funds and joint ventures with institutional investment partners, the largest of which is the £1.35 billion UNITE Student Accommodation Fund (USAF).

 

The Group's charitable trust, the UNITE Foundation, supports widening access to higher education, integrating students into the community and employability. It provides scholarships for disadvantaged students at seven universities and volunteering opportunities for our students and employees through partner organisations.

 

For more information visit our corporate website: www.unite-group.co.uk or www.unite-students.com.  

 

 

 

 


This information is provided by RNS
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