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Empiric acquires second student accommodation portfolio in Leicester

31st May 2016

The Board of Empiric Student Property plc is pleased to announce that the Group has acquired the freeholds of three operational, direct-let, premium student accommodation properties in Leicester, comprising a total of 106 beds, for a consideration of £8.8 million (excluding acquisition costs).

Bede Park (completed in 2012) is a conversion of a 1900s two storey industrial unit, with a further two floors added. The property provides a total of 59 beds, comprising 49 studios and five two-bedroom apartments, as well as communal facilities including a large gym, cinema room and a communal living area. There is a ground floor retail unit, which is currently let to The Co-operative food store.  Bede Park is located to the west of the Soar River on a busy pedestrian route between De Montfort University, which is a ten minute walk away, and the popular Narborough Road area.

136-138 New Walk (completed in 2013) and 160 New Walk (completed in 2015) are both conversions of three storey Victorian mid-terraces, which have been extended to the rear and are all-studio schemes with 30 beds and 17 beds, respectively.  The properties each offer communal facilities, including a gym and cinema room.  Located close to the University of Leicester in an attractive area, these New Walk properties are on a pedestrian-only road linking Victoria Park to the city centre.

The properties have an excellent occupational track record and are fully let for the 2015/16 academic year, with 90% already pre-let across the portfolio for 2016/17.

The three properties are being acquired from a Leicester-based property company, which will continue to manage the operation of the properties on behalf of Empiric until the end of the current academic year.

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

"Home to both the University of Leicester and De Montfort University, Leicester had a full-time student population of over 30,000 in 2014/15 (according to the latest available HESA data), of which some 26.5% are international students and almost 20% are postgraduates. This acquisition brings the beds owned in Leicester by Empiric to 280 and we are exploring further opportunities in this popular student city.  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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