Greystar, GIC close Student Roost acquisition

Greystar, GIC close Student Roost acquisition

Greystar Real Estate Partners and GIC have completed the acquisition of Student Roost, the UK’s third largest purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) provider, from one of Brookfield’s real estate private funds.

The JV will continue to trade Student Roost under its widely-recognised existing brand. The new management structure will be led by Jess Gallop as Managing Director of Student Roost, having previously been Director of People & Organisational Effectiveness. Jess will lead the operational business and corporate functions within Student Roost.

Greystar will be responsible for delivering on the growth agenda of the business with the Student Roost management team and driving asset and operational enhancements to create an optimised platform for Student Roost, leveraging its decade-long experience as active investors, developers and managers of student housing.

As part of the transaction, Greystar has agreed to divest two of Student Roost’s assets, The Heights (909 beds) and The Old Fire Station (483 beds) both in Birmingham. The sale is being managed by JLL.

Student Roost’s high-quality portfolio comprises more than 23,000 beds with a secured development pipeline of approximately 3,000 further beds covering key UK student cities, many of which are home to prestigious Russell Group universities. The business is well-positioned to benefit from strong ongoing demand among domestic and international students for a UK university education, and favourable market conditions from an under supply of high-quality and professionally managed accommodation.

Since entering the UK PBSA market in 2013, Greystar has successfully grown its Chapter Living brand in London, acquired the Canvas brand last year and part-owned IQ until 2020. 

Mark Allnutt, Senior Managing Director – Europe, Greystar, said: “The successful financial close of Student Roost marks an important milestone in Greystar’s UK growth strategy and adds an outstanding business to our existing portfolio of over 120,000 student beds globally. It also builds our footprint in UK PBSA, which is characterised by an imbalance in the supply of high-quality and professionally managed assets. Student Roost is synonymous with attractive facilities and outstanding services, and we are committed to further improving the offering to appeal to a wider and more diverse student base. GIC is one of our most important global investment partners and today’s announcement signifies a new chapter by extending our partnership to the UK PBSA – one of our highest conviction investment strategies globally.”

Jess Gallop, Managing Director – Student Roost, said: “Student Roost is widely known for the quality of its all-round resident experience, centred around student wellbeing, extensive amenities and professionally run accommodation. I look forward to working closely with Greystar, GIC and the existing team to take that to the next level and capitalise on the significant opportunities that lie ahead for the business.”  

Lee Kok Sun, Chief Investment Officer of Real Estate, GIC, said: “GIC is pleased to close on Student Roost, the UK’s third-largest student accommodation provider. This partnership with Greystar will provide a strong platform for Student Roost to pursue further growth while continuing to offer exceptional purpose-built student accommodation with good occupancy rates. We look forward to working closely with them both.”