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Empiric acquires forward funded scheme in Edinburgh: King's Stables Road

15th August 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 land with planning permission and entered into a forward funded agreement for a 166 bed premium student accommodation development in Edinburgh (the "Property") for a total funding commitment of £26.56 million (excluding costs). The Property will be valued post-completion and the developer may be entitled to a further capped payment at that time.

The redevelopment will involve the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of new purpose-built student accommodation, comprising an all-studio bed scheme with communal facilities. The Property is one component of a wider mixed-use development (being constructed by the same developer, Peveril Securities Limited) comprising a hotel and 52 residential units. Practical completion of the Property is expected in time for the 2019/20 academic year.

Empiric will be responsible for the marketing and letting of the scheme through the Hello Student® operating platform. A show flat will be made available in November 2018 to coincide with the market cycle. The Property will be Empiric's second in Edinburgh, bringing the total size of the portfolio in the city to 254 beds.

The Property is located opposite the iconic Edinburgh castle and more than half of the rooms will benefit from views of this World Heritage Site. The scheme also benefits from close proximity to the popular Grassmarket area of the city, and is ten minutes' walk to the University of Edinburgh's main campus.

Paul Hadaway, Chief Executive of Empiric Student Property plc, commented:

"We are very pleased to have made this acquisition in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town. The city contains 49,705 full-time students (latest available HESA data 2015/16) and the University of Edinburgh attracts 38% of its full-time students from international backgrounds. This is a very well-regarded institution benefitting from a particularly strong ratio of 10.5 undergraduate applications to acceptances (6.6 nationally). This acquisition is in line with Empiric's investment criteria and returns profile."

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The Empiric plc management team has a long track record in the acquisition, development and management of student accommodation assets in the UK.

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