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Empiric acquires student accommodation portfolio in Bath

4th November 2015

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 Bath, comprising a total of 107 beds.

The three properties (Canal Bridge, Widcombe Wharf and Piccadilly Place) are being acquired from the developer, Iesis Group, which will continue to manage the operation of the properties on behalf of Empiric.  Iesis Group is currently undertaking the development of 1-3 James Street West, Bath, a turnkey student accommodation asset on which the Group exchanged contacts (subject to practical completion) in August 2015. The new properties have an excellent occupational track record and are fully let for the 2015/16 academic year.

Canal Bridge (constructed in 2012) is a two and three storey building with 20 beds in combinations of two, four and six bed flats.

Widcombe Wharf (constructed in 2014) is a four storey building with 40 en-suite beds across five eight bed flats.  There is also a retail unit let to Morrisons M-Local located on the ground floor which has been acquired on a long-leasehold basis.

Canal Bridge and Widcombe Wharf are located adjacent to each other in a central location between Bath city centre and the University of Bath campus in the Widcombe district on the bus route between University of Bath and Bath Spa University.  The properties are within a 15 minute walk of both the University of Bath campus and Bath College, and Bath Spa railway station is a 10 minute walk away.

Piccadilly Place (constructed in 2012) comprises two separate three storey buildings with 47 beds in combinations of three, four and five bed flats.  The property is located in the Walcot district, a 20 minute walk from Bath Spa station, a 25 minute walk to Bath College and a short bus ride to the University of Bath campus.

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

"The acquisition of this portfolio is the Group's third investment in Bath and on completion of Empiric's two assets currently under development, will result in Empiric owning a total of 354 operating beds in this attractive student city at the start of the 2016/17 academic year. This acquisition represents an excellent investment opportunity in a city with limited purpose-built student accommodation and restrictive planning for new developments.  We expect the acquisition to deliver significant operational as well as financial efficiencies as costs are shared amongst the Group's other properties in Bath. 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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