KKR’s European core-plus real estate strategy has acquired an 819-bed student housing asset in a forward funding deal with UK developer Watkin Jones.

The global investment firm has agreed to buy the purpose-built student housing (PBSA) scheme in Dalby Avenue located in Bedminster, Bristol.

As part of the deal, KKR is expected to pay developer Watkin Jones over the course of the development, which is due for completion in August 2024, and includes an initial net cash receipt for Watkin Jones of £25m (€28.3m).

The asset will be leased to The University of Bristol once completed.

Seb d’Avanzo, managing director and head of real estate acquisitions for KKR in Europe, said: ”The student housing market has compelling and resilient fundamentals and this property benefits from a long-term lease, making it a good fit for our Core Plus Real Estate strategy and our growing ambitions in the student housing sector.”

Alex Pease, CIO of Watkin Jones, said: “We are delighted to have secured our second deal with KKR, and would like to thank them for their efforts and partnership approach in reaching this agreement.

“This is an exciting opportunity to develop a key area of regeneration in the Bedminster area of Bristol for the ever-growing student needs in the city.”

Pease added that the sale is further evidence of the attractive investment and operational fundamentals of both PBSA as a sector and Bristol as a city and a good sign of investment markets re-opening.

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