DWS has expanded its presence in the UK student accommodation sector with the acquisition of a £600m (€648.3m) portfolio.

The asset manager, on behalf of its real estate funds, is buying the purpose-built Vita Student assets from Vita Group.

In a joint statement, the companies said the deal incorporates eight UK assets and Vita Group will continue to manage and operate the buildings on behalf of DWS.

The portfolio consists of a total of 3,198 beds across Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle across eight assets, three of which will complete construction imminently.

Vita Student, which was launched in 2013, has 5,760 beds in 19 residences across 12 cities in the UK.

For DWS, this acquisition further expands its presence and expertise in the purpose-built student accommodation sector and follows the recent forward purchase of a large scale scheme in Wembley, London.

Ronen Ribak, head of real estate transactions, Europe at DWS, said: “We will continue to seek best in class student housing properties across Europe and partner with managers and operators with a shared trajectory of growth as we continue to deploy capital in the European student housing sector.”

Matthias Naumann, CIO & head of strategy, alternatives, Europe at DWS, said the Vita Student portfolio provides a significant opportunity for DWS to further re-balance its European portfolio towards the residential sector and its sub-segments.

“With demand for higher education growing globally, we expect UK universities to continue to attract students from both the UK and overseas, despite current uncertainties.

“It allows DWS to increase its presence in a sector offering strong long term growth prospects while being defensive during downturns. This is very much in line with the investment strategy of our funds.”

Vita Group said the deal will allow its to scale its growth both domestically and internationally, with a significant future pipeline which includes the first international Vita Student scheme in Barcelona.

Mark Stott, CEO of Vita Group, said: “This deal is hugely significant for both the next chapter of growth for Vita Student and the wider Vita Group as we bring more innovative brands to market.”