Empiric acquires Revcap interest in joint venture asset in Glasgow: Willowbank
31st March 2017
The Board of Empiric Student Property plc (ticker: ESP), the owner and operator of premium student accommodation across the UK, is pleased to announce that the Group has acquired the 50 per cent. share in Empiric (Glasgow) Limited previously owned by an investment fund affiliated with Revcap Advisors Limited ("Revcap"). As a result, the Group now owns 100 per cent. of the interest in Willowbank in Glasgow.
In August 2014, the Group entered into the 50:50 joint venture arrangement with Revcap to redevelop the former Willowbank Primary School site. The project was completed in September 2016 and comprises 178 beds made up of a mix of studios and two to five bed apartments, together with communal facilities, and is adjacent to the Group's Ballet School scheme. Both properties, which are managed by Hello Student®, are currently fully let and bookings for the 2017/18 academic year are well ahead of bookings at this time last year.
Empiric has agreed to pay Revcap £4.65 million as an initial payment calculated in accordance with the terms of the joint venture arrangements. A further minor payment may become due within six months, dependent upon the settlement of certain contingent costs.
Following completion of this transaction, the Group has assumed full responsibility for the £9.5 million development loan facility in place with Close Brothers Limited in relation to Willowbank and this will be repaid immediately.
Paul Hadaway, Chief Executive of Empiric Student Property plc, commented:
"Willowbank is our flagship development in Glasgow which involved the redevelopment of a listed Victorian primary school building, combining the restoration of original features with the construction of four additional modern buildings. This was our second successful joint venture with Revcap and, while we currently have no further joint venture developments together, we continue to enjoy a strong working relationship."
Stephen Alston, Non-Executive Director of Empiric, is a partner of Real Estate Venture Capital Management LLP (an affiliate of Revcap) and, therefore, was not involved in the Board's consideration of this transaction.
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