DWS and Vita Group today announced the completion of a landmark agreement which sees DWS acquire a portfolio of “Vita Student” assets for around £600m, on behalf of its real estate funds. The deal incorporates eight UK assets and will see Vita Group continue to manage and operate the buildings on behalf of DWS. Vita Group was advised by Savills and Rothschild on the transaction.
The portfolio consists of a total of 3,198 beds across Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle across eight assets, three of which will complete construction imminently. All assets are purpose built to a high-specification, with market leading amenities in prime ‘city centre’ locations in Russell Group University cities.
Vita Student was launched in 2013 to offer premium, experience-led, student accommodation and has 5,760 beds in 19 residences across 12 cities in the UK. The deal will allow Vita Group to scale its growth both domestically and internationally, with a significant future pipeline which includes the first international “Vita Student” scheme in Barcelona.
For DWS, this acquisition further expands its presence and expertise in the Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) sector and follows the recent forward purchase of a large scale scheme in Wembley, London.
Speaking about the deal, Mark Stott, CEO of Vita Group, said:
“Finding the right strategic investment partner was imperative to the future of our business and I’m delighted to announce today’s news. This deal is hugely significant for both the next chapter of growth for Vita Student and the wider Vita Group as we bring more innovative brands to market.”
Ronen Ribak, Head of Real Estate Transactions, Europe at DWS, said:
“A high-end portfolio in strong locations catering to both local and international students was critical in our decision to acquire this portfolio, and to partner with a true experience led operator such as Vita Group. We will continue to seek best in class student housing properties across Europe and partner with managers and operators with a shared trajectory of growth as we continue to deploy capital in the European student housing sector.”
Matthias Naumann, CIO & Head of Strategy, Alternatives, Europe at DWS, said:
“The ‘Vita Student’ portfolio provides a significant opportunity for DWS to further re-balance our European portfolio towards the residential sector and its sub segments. With demand for higher education growing globally, we expect UK universities to continue to attract students from both the UK and overseas, despite current uncertainties. It allows DWS to increase its presence in a sector offering strong long term growth prospects while being defensive during downturns. This is very much in line with the investment strategy of our funds.”
The deal incorporates the following assets:
Vita Student, First Street - Manchester – 279 units
Vita Student, Circle Square Building 10 - Manchester – 496 units
Vita Student, Circle Square Building 11 - Manchester – 220 units
Vita Student, Circle Square Building 9 - Manchester - 384 units
Vita Student, Glasgow – 501 units
Vita Student, Strawberry Place - Newcastle – 332 units
Vita Student, Edinburgh – 250 units
Vita Student, St Albans - Leeds - 376 units
Vita Student, Birmingham - 360 units
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DWS - Real Estate
DWS’s real estate investment business has been investing in real estate assets for almost 50 years. As part of the Alternatives platform, the real estate business has more than 450 employees around the world and EUR 60 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2019. Providing a diverse range of strategies and solutions across the risk/return and geographic spectrums, we offer core and value-added real estate, real estate securities, real estate debt and opportunistic real estate. The real estate investment business employs a disciplined investment approach and aims to deliver attractive long-term risk adjusted returns, preservation of capital and diversification to its investors, which include governments, corporations, insurance companies, endowments, retirement plans, and private clients worldwide.
About DWS Group
DWS Group (DWS) is one of the world's leading asset managers with EUR 719bn of assets under management (as of 30 June 2019). Building on more than 60 years of experience and a reputation for excellence in Germany and across Europe, DWS has come to be recognized by clients globally as a trusted source for integrated investment solutions, stability and innovation across a full spectrum of investment disciplines.
We offer individuals and institutions access to our strong investment capabilities across all major asset classes and solutions aligned to growth trends. Our diverse expertise in Active, Passive and Alternatives asset management – as well as our deep environmental, social and governance focus – complement each other when creating targeted solutions for our clients. Our expertise and on-the-ground-knowledge of our economists, research analysts and investment professionals are brought together in one consistent global CIO View, which guides our strategic investment approach.
DWS wants to innovate and shape the future of investing: with approximately 3,600 employees in offices all over the world, we are local while being one global team.
About Vita Group - www.vitagroup.com
Vita Group’s mission is to reinvent tired and underserved property sectors and go far beyond the buildings themselves to play a greater role as a lifestyle provider.
It is committed to creating trusted brands, vibrant communities with high customer loyalty which guarantees occupancy levels.
Originally under the Select Property umbrella, Vita Group was created to look after the
consumer facing brands of the business; Vita Student, CitySuites and a soon-to-be launched live-work brand.
Select Property continues to operate the investor sales function of the company and PRS brand Affinity Living, working from its offices in the UK, Dubai and China.