21 June 2017 – Expansión
GSA (Global Student Accommodation) has reached an agreement with Oaktree Capital to purchase its student halls of residence in Spain (which are owned and operated by an entity called Nexo). This operation, whose financial details have not been revealed, comes less than a year after GSA purchased Oaktree’s platform of halls of residence in the United Kingdom, comprising 7,100 beds, back in September 2016.
Both operations have been advised by the real estate consultancy firm JLL.
Nexo is one of the largest developers and operators of student halls of residence in Spain and currently owns a portfolio of approximately 2,300 beds located in Madrid and Barcelona – split between operational assets and those under construction.
The firm has three operational halls of residence in Madrid – Galdós, with 370 beds; El Faro, with 358 beds; and Claraval, with 186 beds – as well as the Lope de Vega University Residence, also located in the Spanish capital, which will open its doors in September 2017 and which will house 468 students, from both Spain and overseas.
The operation also includes two additional projects under development in Barcelona, which will be ready for use in 2019 and which increase the total number of beds to 2,234. The first centre, Barcelona Sants, will have 348 beds and the second, Campus Sur Diagonal, will have 504 beds.
Nicholas Porter, founder and President of GSA, said that the firm is continuing to fulfil its plans for rapid expansion in Europe with its focus on higher education markets.
Interest from funds in this segment has increased in recent months. In order to benefit from this situation, Azora and Grupo March have put RESA up for sale – it is the largest student residence management platform in Spain, with 9,000 beds – and interest has already been expressed by Axa, Round Hill, the Canadian pension fund CPPIB, CBRE Global Investment and Partners Group, amongst others.
Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake