Collegiate is expanding its student accommodation portfolio into the Italy market by teaming up with Proprium Capital Partners, the real estate fund manager spun out from Morgan Stanley in March 2013, to develop schemes in the country.

The purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) provider said it has secured an undisclosed strategic investment from Proprium as part of a joint venture to develop the pipeline of student accommodation schemes.

In March this year, Collegiate said it was seeking to raise up to £2bn (€2.2bn) to help expand its student accommodation portfolio across Europe. 

At the time, Collegiate managed more than 20 developments across the UK, Spain and Portugal, and planned to use the new capital from strategic investors to expand into new and existing territories.

The Proprium venture follows the announced intention to raise capital to extend the company’s portfolio across Europe and globally, Collegiate said today.

This first phase of the Italian investment will target the development of around 3,500 new student bedrooms over the next three years. The first project, a 700-bedroom residence in Milan, will be one of the first major PBSA developments in the city.

Collegiate said development of the site is underway with construction planned to commence later this year.

Eri Cuanalo, CEO of Collegiate, said: “We intend to set new standards in terms of quality, living environment, service and facilities to provide more choices to national and international students choosing to study in Milan and other university cities across Italy.

”We’re experiencing unprecedented demand for our high-quality accommodation throughout Europe and are very excited to be entering this partnership with Proprium in Italy.”

Collegiate was advised by Savills on the transaction.

Javier Perez-Lecumberri, Proprium Capital Partners, said: “Italy is one of Europe’s top educational destinations and with such low provision levels of PBSA it makes it a logical market for us to enter.

”We believe that student housing offers the potential for compelling risk-adjusted returns – based on a history of producing robust rental growth and maintaining high occupancy even amidst the last economic crisis.”