Blackstone has added more than 1,000 beds to its UK student housing portfolio through the acquisition of two properties from Downing Students.

IQ Student Accommodation, a Blackstone portfolio company, said it has supported Blackstone’s acquisition of two purpose-built student accommodation assets in London and Edinburgh, without disclosing any financials.

The assets are Vega, an 841-bed property in Vauxhall, London, and The Mont, a 324-bed property located close to the Central Area of the University of Edinburgh.

Samir Amichi, head of real estate acquisitions in Europe at Blackstone, said: “London and Edinburgh are two of the UK’s most attractive student cities, with world-leading educational institutions attracting students from both across the UK and abroad.

“We are delighted to have partnered with Downing Students on these transactions and with Vega and The Mont in its portfolio, iQ will add further capacity to its best-in-class offering for student housing, an area in which we will continue to deploy capital with conviction.”

Matt Merrick, CEO of iQ Student Accommodation, said the latest acquisition builds on recent acquisitions in Glasgow, Nottingham and Warwick, as iQ and Blackstone continue to invest in Russell Group university markets where student growth is highest.

Bay Downing, investment director at Downing, said: “This transaction will enhance our ability to accelerate the expansion of our pipeline, which already includes over 5,000 new student beds across Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, Newcastle and London.”

Blackstone acquired iQ in May 2020 for £4.7bn (€5.4bn). IQ now owns and operates 81 properties, comprising over 33,000 beds, and a development pipeline encompassing 4,000 beds.

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