Blackstone has struck the largest-ever private property deal in the UK by agreeing to acquire the UK student accommodation firm iQ in a £4.7bn deal.
The New York-based private equity firm is buying iQ from the US investment bank Goldman Sachs and the health research charity Wellcome Trust.
The property firm is one of the main players in the rapidly growing UK student housing market. It owns and operates 67 student premises across the country, with more than 28,000 beds and plans to add a further 4,000.
Last year, 32,000 new beds were delivered across the UK of which nearly 90% were from private sector providers. A further 114,000 beds are in the pipeline.
Despite the increased investment, there were fewer than 650,000 student accommodation beds for 1.8 million undergraduates and postgraduates in the UK last year.
The short supply has been pushing up rents. Rents for en-suite accommodation have been at 16% above the rate of inflation since 2014, according to a recent report. High rent bills have led to student rent strikes in the past.
At iQ, rents start at £75 a week in Bradford, and £195 a week in London. An en-suite room in Bloomsbury in the centre of the capital costs up to £460 a week.
Full Content: The Guardian
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