CA and PGIM Real Estate Announce Successful Disposition of UK PBSA Portfolio

CA Ventures (“CA”), the vertically integrated real estate investment management company, today announced it has closed on the disposition of its initial portfolio of 897-bed purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) assets in the UK for a combined transaction value of approximately £161 million. The three assets are being acquired by funds managed by Apollo Global Management. The announcement comes after the three communities across Sheffield, Glasgow and Edinburgh reached 100% leased in their first year. All leasing and marketing efforts were managed by CA’s in-house PBSA operating platform, Novel Student (“Novel”).

Only three years after establishing our European headquarters in London, our initial PBSA portfolio has driven our swift success across three leading UK cities for students, and its record-value sale represents a strong validation of our investment thesis centered around a prime offering,” said Carlo Matta, head of CA’s European operations. This milestone was made possible by the vertical integration of our expert team, who successfully managed the land acquisition, delivery, 100% lease up, operations and sale of this state-of-the-art portfolio despite the ongoing challenges presented by the global economic environment. With another 6,000 beds across Europe in our development pipeline and the backing of institutional capital, I couldn’t be more excited for the future of CA’s European operations.” 

CA plans to deliver another 1,000 beds across, Edinburgh, Leicester and Belfast to serve students during the 2022/2023 academic year, all of which will be managed by Novel. CA has also announced joint ventures to expand its PBSA portfolio and the Novel platform to Ireland, Spain and Italy. 

PGIM Real Estate provided financing solutions to CA to support the development of the three sites. We are pleased to have supported CA in their inaugural PBSA development in the UK through our PGIM Real Estate Capital (PRECap) platform, the European flagship high yield debt fund series,” said Mathew Crowther, PRECap senior portfolio manager at PGIM Real Estate. CA, with their depth of experience in this sector and their vertical arrangement, exemplifies the type of strategic sponsorship we seek, to benefit from PRECap’s bespoke and creative capital solutions. This investment in prime UK student accommodation underscores the potential opportunities in tracking the ongoing structural trends in the living sector, a key investment pillar of PGIM Real Estate.” 

The significant level of interest in this portfolio demonstrates both the high quality of assets that our client created and continued investor interest in the resilient UK purpose-built student accommodation market,” said Sonia Wang, associate director of Savills Capital Advisors, who advised the seller. 

The disposed assets include: 

Hillside House (250 beds) – Sheffield University, Sheffield Hallam University; Sheffield, England 

Located one mile from the City Centre at 86 Winter St., Hillside House offers studio through six-bedroom apartments spanning 15 floors. In addition to premium in-unit amenities, Hillside House boasts luxury community amenities including a breakfast bar, karaōke room, gym, study space, wellness studio, rooftop terrace and outdoor cinema, as well as digital gaming and private dining. 

Bridle Works (422 beds) – University of Strathclyde, University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University; Glasgow, Scotland 

Located at 350 Cathedral St., Bridle Works is only 0.4 miles from Glasgow City Centre and offers studio through five-bedroom apartments across 20 floors. Community amenities include a single and dual gaming room, rooftop terrace with an outdoor BBQ, glam room, gym, private and group study space, bar area, private dining room, cinema and tea lounge, as well as karaōke and relaxation rooms. 

Silk Mill (225 beds) – Edinburgh Napier University, University of Edinburgh; Edinburgh, Scotland 

Silk Mill is located at 162 Dundee St., just 1.5 miles from Edinburgh City Centre, and offers residents modern studio through nine-bedroom apartments spanning five floors. The community provides outstanding shared amenity spaces, including a reception area, breakfast bar, karaōke room, gym, digital gaming center, bar area, private dining area, lounge, private and group study space, as well as an outdoor courtyard including BBQ grills and an outdoor cinema.