DLA Piper advises Oaktree Capital and Threesixty Developments on biggest student accommodation deal of 2016 so far

DLA Piper has advised Threesixty Developments, the student accommodation arm of Oaktree Capital, on the sale of a portfolio of 15 student accommodation and two private rented sector assets located across the United Kingdom.

The purchaser was Global Student Accommodation and GIC, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund.

The transaction, which was led from DLA Piper’s Sheffield office, represents the UK’s largest student accommodation deal in 2016 so far. The portfolio has been assembled within the last three years and includes 3,634 operational beds across nine purpose built student accommodation properties located in six top university cities: Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Southampton.

A development pipeline of 3,516 beds in Birmingham, Bournemouth Cambridge, Plymouth and Portsmouth was also included in the deal.

The sale also includes the property management, development arm and operating businesses of Threesixty, as well as The Student Housing Company website and booking portal. The sale is the second large disposal by Oaktree and Threesixty who sold the Westbourne portfolio to Goldman Sachs and Greystar in 2015 for £550 million.

DLA Piper advised on all real estate, construction, planning, tax, banking and commercial matters throughout the assembly and disposal phases of both portfolios.

Stephen Blacksell, real estate partner at the firm, said: “This is the latest in a string of student accommodation deals we have acted on in 2015 and 2016, which now total around £1 billion, including the Bramall Court development in Sheffield. Student accommodation has become an established alternative and stable asset class in recent years and has latterly been the subject of strong interest from institutional investors as evidenced by these transactions.”

The DLA Piper team was led by Sheffield Real Estate partner Stephen Blacksell, and included construction partner Ian Doig, tax partner Mark Burgess, IPT partner Roger Gough, finance and projects partner Kirstie Allerton and employment senior associate Beverley Ensor.