The Board of Empiric Student Property plc (LSE: ESP) is pleased to announce that the Group has exchanged contracts to acquire the freeholds on two direct-let, premium student accommodation properties in Cardiff from the developer, Trafalgar Villa Estates.
Alwyn Court is an operating, purpose-built student accommodation property on Salisbury Road in Cardiff. The property, which opened in 2012, comprises 51 beds arranged in both individual studios and apartment configurations with communal facilities. It is located within a five minute walk of Cardiff University, close to the Group’s existing Summit House property and new Northgate House property described below. The consideration payable by ESP is £3.5 million.
The property is 100 per cent. let for the 2014/15 academic year.
Northgate House is a purpose-built student accommodation property, parts of which are in the late stages of construction, on The Kingsway in Cardiff. The property, which is anticipated to be completed in January 2015, comprises 67 beds arranged in both individual studios and apartment configurations with communal facilities. It is situated in a prime central Cardiff location within an easy walk of Cardiff University and close to the Group’s existing Summit House and Alwyn Court properties. The consideration payable by ESP is £5.2 million.
The Group has received a 100 per cent. rental guarantee for the 2014/15 academic year from the vendor in respect of the parts of the property which are not currently let.
With three properties in Cardiff in close proximity, the Company expects to benefit from shared operational management costs.
Paul Hadaway, Chief Executive of Empiric Student Property plc, commented:
“The acquisitions of Alwyn Court and Northgate House provide the Company with further assets in Cardiff, a lively and cosmopolitan city attracting some 44,000 students to its numerous higher education institutions including Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University. The Group’s Cardiff assets are all in close proximity to these institutions and each other, which will enable the Company to realise benefits from joint management, boosting the already attractive returns we expect to achieve for our shareholders. Both acquisitions are in line with ESP’s investment criteria and returns profile.”