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Empiric commits to three forward funded developments in Leicester

28th November 2016

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 entered into three forward funding arrangements with a Leicester-based property company to develop a total of 170 beds in Leicester for an aggregate investment of £15.975 million.

134 New Walk and 140-142 New Walk are located immediately to the west and east, respectively, of the Group's recently acquired standing asset at 136-138 New Walk.  These Victorian terrace properties are being converted and extended to the rear to the same specification as the standing asset, to form a contiguous run of high specification student accommodation from 134 to 142 New Walk. 134 New Walk will comprise a total of 16 studios, while 140-142 New Walk will comprise 42 studios and three 2-bed apartments. In total, Empiric will own 94 beds at 134 to 142 New Walk.

Princess Road East is a new build, high specification student accommodation scheme comprising 106 studios with generous communal facilities including a gym, cinema, common room and work rooms.

All three properties are adjacent to Victoria Park and close to the University of Leicester and De Montfort University.  New Walk is a pedestrianised road linking Victoria Park and the nearby city centre.

The acquisition of the 140-142 New Walk and Princess Road East properties are conditional on the developer satisfying various conditions precedent in the Development Agreement.  All three properties will be marketed and managed through the Hello Student® operating platform.  134 New Walk is expected to be delivered by May 2017, in time for the 2017/18 academic year and the other two properties by May 2018, in time for the 2018/19 academic year.

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

"Following this acquisition, the Group will own 730 beds in Leicester, targeting both the University of Leicester and De Montfort University, with some 30,600 full-time students.  The Group's existing operating properties have a strong lettings history and are all fully let for the 2016/17 academic year.  This acquisition is in line with Empiric's investment criteria."

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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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