As further evidence of the health of the £4bn pa UK Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) market, Watkin Jones said yesterday morning that it had forward sold 4 schemes for £180m - covering 2,163 beds across Glasgow, Coventry & London (2x) – to a joint venture (JV) between KKR & Round Hill Capital. On top, a 5th in Bristol has been provisionally exchanged, subject to planning consent, for which additional consideration would be received.
The £180m will be paid over the next 2 years, hence adding to the company’s strong revenue and earnings visibility, alongside its robust balance sheet. All told, we think this is encouraging news, and underlines not only the strength of the WJG brand, but also the build quality, project management and cost control of its developments.
Indeed, considering this is the JV’s 1st UK based PBSA transaction (albeit active in Spain, the Netherlands and Europe), it represents another great endorsement for the firm that KKR/Round Hill has decided to choose WJG as their construction partner.
CEO Mark Watkin Jones, commenting: "Watkin Jones has an established reputation as a leading developer of high quality purpose-built student accommodation and it is this reputation that has led us to work with KKR and Round Hill in their first joint investment in the UK student housing market.
This is further validation of the ongoing opportunity for Watkin Jones in the sector and the initial consideration of £180 million, for the four forward sold sites, helps further build the Group's revenue visibility for the coming financial years”.