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Watkin Jones plc (WJG)

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Monday 11 March, 2019

Watkin Jones plc

Forward sale of 599 bed PBSA scheme in Wembley

RNS Number : 3762S
Watkin Jones plc
11 March 2019

For immediate release

11 March 2019




Watkin Jones plc

('Watkin Jones' or the 'Group')


Forward sale of 599 bed PBSA scheme in Wembley


Watkin Jones plc (AIM:WJG), a leading UK developer and constructor of multi-occupancy residential property assets, with a focus on the student accommodation and build to rent sectors, announces that the Group has completed the forward sale of a purpose-built student accommodation ('PBSA') development in Wembley to the real estate investment business of DWS.


The consideration payable to Watkin Jones over the course of the development will be approximately £90 million, net of all client funding and acquisition costs.  The scheme is expected to deliver a margin in line with target returns and is scheduled for delivery in time for the start of the 2021/22 academic year.  The completed scheme will be managed by Fresh Student Living, the Group's PBSA asset manager.


The Wembley PBSA scheme has a planning consent for 599 high quality purpose designed student beds with associated amenity and management space.  It also includes a retail offering and substantial landscaped external communal area.  


The PBSA scheme forms part of a wider mixed-use site, which also includes the previously announced 300 build to rent apartments and associated underground car park which the Group is contracted to develop for Kelaty Propco Limited (a joint venture ultimately owned by Singaporean incorporated Lum Chang Holdings Limited and Sin Heng Chan (1960) Private Limited).  The development site forms part of the continued Wembley regeneration story and showcases Watkin Jones' expertise in assembling, structuring, constructing, funding and operating complex and high profile urban centre projects.


Richard Simpson, Chief Executive Officer of Watkin Jones, said: "We are delighted to partner with DWS in the forward sale of our Wembley PBSA scheme.  The Wembley regeneration story is remarkable and it is firmly established as a destination of choice by students for their accommodation. It is significant that a global institution has invested in their first student accommodation scheme in the UK by partnering with Watkin Jones for both the development and then the management of the asset.  Our track record in developing into the robust UK PBSA sector is well proven as this transaction highlights.  We look forward to deepening our development pipeline and leveraging our expertise further."


Mike Hill, Head of Real Estate Transactions, UK & Ireland for DWS, said: "The purchase of Kelaty House is DWS's first UK PBSA acquisition and as such represents a significant step forward in our strategy to invest into the 'beds' sector in the UK & Ireland.


Kelaty House is an ideal first acquisition for DWS. It offers scale and is located in the regeneration area of Wembley, which is fast becoming a vibrant hub for students and will benefit from the strength of London's student housing market."

- Ends -


For further information:

Watkin Jones plc


Richard Simpson, Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 1248 362 516

Phil Byrom, Chief Financial Officer



Peel Hunt LLP (Nominated Adviser & Joint Corporate Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Mike Bell / Justin Jones





Jefferies Hoare Govett (Joint Corporate Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7029 8000

Max Jones / Will Soutar


Media enquiries:



Henry Harrison-Topham / Richard Oldworth

Jamie Hooper / Steph Watson


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000

[email protected]


Notes to Editors


Watkin Jones plc

Watkin Jones is a leading UK developer and constructor of multi-occupancy residential property assets, with a focus on the student accommodation and build to rent sectors.  The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a good reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high quality developments.  Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered 38,000 student beds across 117 sites, making it a key player and leader in the UK purpose built student accommodation market.  In addition, the Fresh Property Group, the Group's specialist accommodation management company, manages over 15,000 student beds and build to rent apartments on behalf of its institutional clients.  Watkin Jones has also been responsible for over 80 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments.  The Group is now expanding its operations into the build to rent sector.


The Group's competitive advantage lies in its experienced management team and business model, which enables it to offer an end-to-end solution for investors, delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset.


Watkin Jones was admitted to trading on AIM in March 2016 with the ticker WJG.L.  For additional information please visit:


DWS - Real Estate

DWS's real estate investment business has been investing in real estate assets for more than 45 years.  As part of the Alternatives platform, the real estate business has more than 450 employees around the world and €54.5 billion in assets under management as of 31 December 2018 and offers a diverse range of strategies and solutions across the risk/return and geographic spectrums, including core and value-added real estate, real estate securities, real estate debt and opportunistic real estate.  The real estate investment business employs a disciplined investment approach and aims to deliver attractive long-term risk adjusted returns, preservation of capital and diversification to its investors, which include governments, corporations, insurance companies, endowments, retirement plans, and private clients worldwide.



DWS Group

DWS Group (DWS) is one of the world's leading asset managers with €662bn of assets under management (as of 31 December 2018). Building on more than 60 years of experience and a reputation for excellence in Germany and across Europe, DWS has come to be recognised by clients globally as a trusted source for integrated investment solutions, stability and innovation across a full spectrum of investment disciplines.


We offer individuals and institutions access to our strong investment capabilities across all major asset classes and solutions aligned to growth trends. Our diverse expertise in Active, Passive and Alternatives asset management, as well as our deep environmental, social and governance focus, complement each other when creating targeted solutions for our clients.  Our expertise and on-the-ground-knowledge of our economists, research analysts and investment professionals are brought together in one consistent global CIO View, which guides our strategic investment approach.


DWS wants to innovate and shape the future of investing: with approximately 3,600 employees in offices all over the world, we are local while being one global team.


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