A consortium, backed by Dutch pension fund manager APG and Blackstone, has made a £969m (€1.1m) offer for FTSE 250-listed GCP Student Living.

Gemini Jersey JV, a new company created by APG-backed Scape Living and Blackstone’s UK student housing platform iQ, is offering GCP shareholders 213p for each share held, an amount which represents a 30.7% premium to GCP’s share closing price on 1 July — the last business day before the commencement of the offer period.

GCP currently has a £1.13bn portfolio of 11 assets located primarily in London and the South East.

Following the acquisition, which is expected to complete during the fourth quarter of the year, Scape Living would  own five GCP assets worth 60.05% of GCP’s real estate portfolio value and iQ would own the remaining six assets worth 39.95% of the portfolio’s value

Leo Hertog, on behalf of Scape Living, said: “We have strong ambitions for the growth of our Scape Living platform and this transaction represents an important milestone with the acquisition of five high-quality student housing assets across London and the South East in markets with strong long-term fundamentals.”

Matt Merrick of iQ, said: “As a leading owner-operator of purpose-built student accommodation in the UK, we have a strong track record of investing in and integrating new properties into the iQ platform.

“iQ is deeply committed to providing students with a high-quality living experience and this transaction will enable us to bring our offer to more students across London and the South East.”

David Hunter, the chairman of GCP, said: “GCP and its managers have assembled a portfolio of the highest quality focused on a location which, in normal circumstances, has the highest imbalance between supply and demand in its sector.

“However, at a time when investment market demand for assets of this type is at an unprecedented level, despite ongoing uncertainty created by the pandemic and Brexit on international student movements, this transaction enables our shareholders to realise full value for their investment at a price which exceeds GCP’s previous all-time high share price.”

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