Greystar Grabs High-End Student Housing Portfolio in London

Greystar Real Estate Partners payed a pretty penny for three premium student accommodation properties it plans to turn around.
Nido Kings Cross in London

In a deal worth approximately $900 million (£600 million), Greystar Real Estate Partners has closed on the acquisition of three premium student accommodation properties from Nido London S.à r.l.

The assets, which total 2,375 beds, are located in London (specifically in King’s Cross, Notting Hill and Spitalfields). Amenities include dining facilities, well-equipped gyms, cinema and karaoke rooms, as well as bars and dedicated study areas.

Nido London S.à r.l. is managed by Round Hill Capital, one of its investors. The entity also comprises Morood Invest, the Global Student Accommodation Fund (GSAF) advised by CBRE, a financial institution, as well as a number of overseas private stakeholders advised by Curzon Land.

Round Hill Capital acquired the Nido student housing portfolio from Blackstone for more than $622 million (£415 million) in May 2012, with plans to turn it into a high-end student accommodation operator, at a time when the U.K. student housing market had not established itself as an institutionalized asset class.

“Round Hill identified student housing as an institutional investment grade opportunity well before other investors in the market and this sale underlines our strategy to invest in high quality portfolios and exploit first mover advantages,” Michael Bickford, founder & CEO of Round Hill Capital, said in a news release. “We still see significant value in the sector both in the U.K. and Europe and will continue to invest in quality assets like these which we can reposition for higher and more stable operating profit and then sell to core investors looking for long term stable income.”

“Our purchase of Nido Spitalfields, Nido Kings Cross and Nido Notting Hill align perfectly with Greystar’s strategy and philosophy of owning and operating assets that set a new standard of service and resident experience in the student accommodation industry,” added Brett Lashley, Greystar’s U.K. managing director.

Round Hill Capital is a global real estate investment manager led by Michael Bickford. With offices in the U.K., Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, U.S. and the Netherlands, the company has invested more than $7 billion of capital in European real estate assets since its inception in 2002.