Centurion to acquire 133-bed student housing asset in UK for $18.25m

SINGAPORE - Dormitory developer Centurion Corp has agreed to buy a 133-bed student housing asset in the British city of Nottingham for £10.2 million (S$18.25 million).

The asset, dwell Castle Gate Haus, sits on the even-number lots of 32 to 44 Castle Gate near Nottingham Trent University and within driving distance of the University of Nottingham. The accommodation, which Centurion will manage under its dwell brand, comprises 69 studios and 64 en-suite rooms.

The purchase price matches an Aug 8, 2018, valuation by Cushman and Wakefield UK. The properties posted six-month profit before tax, minority interests and extraordinary items of £0.31 million for the period ended June 30, 2018.

Completion of the deal is slated for October 2018. If completed, the acquisition will increase Centurion's total student and workers accommodation portfolio to 29 assets globally and its number of beds under management to about 55,615. Within the United Kingdom, Centurion will operate about 2,676 beds across 10 student accommodation assets in five cities.

Centurion said that Nottingham Trent University's student population has been growing from 2004 to 2017, and that there is currently a 2.1-to-1 student-to-bed ratio in the Nottingham student housing market. That is slightly above the national average of 2.0 to 1.

Centurion chief executive Kong Chee Min said in a statement: "We remain optimistic about the prospects of purpose-built student accommodation sector in UK. This acquisition of dwell Castle Gate Haus will mark our entry into the city of Nottingham and continuedexpansion into other strong education hubs in UK."