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Empiric to acquire development site in Exeter: Well Street

4th May 2016

The Board of Empiric Student Property plc (ticker: ESP) is pleased to announce that the Group has exchanged contracts to acquire, subject to planning, the freehold of a site on Well Street, Exeter, at a cost of £1.5 million (excluding fees). 

The Company is in the process of applying for planning permission with Exeter City Council for a premium student accommodation development on the site, comprising approximately 68 beds. The exact mix of room types is still to be determined but it is anticipated that the development will be completed in time for the 2017/18 academic year and, like the Group's other four properties in Exeter, will be managed by Collegiate AC.

The site is located within a 10 minute walk to the University of Exeter's main campus and is in close proximity to the Group's other schemes in the city. On completion of this and the Group's other developments in the city, Empiric will own c.411 operating beds in Exeter, serving approximately 2% of the full-time student population.

On receipt of planning permission, the Company will enter into an appropriate development contract.  Further information regarding the proposed project will be announced in due course.

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

"Exeter is a key city for investment by the Group, with a top ranked Russell Group university and a growing student population with limited access to private purpose-built student accommodation.  The Group's current operating properties have an excellent occupational record and are fully let for the 2015/16 academic year, with lettings for the 2016/17 academic year currently well ahead of management's expectations. Once all five of our assets in the city are operational, we expect to deliver operational as well as financial efficiencies as costs are shared amongst the Group's other properties in Exeter.  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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