New York City — Blackstone has entered into an agreement to acquire U.K.-based student housing firm iQ Student Accommodation from a partnership between Goldman Sachs and Wellcome Trust for $6 billion. This sale is said to be the largest ever private real estate transaction in the U.K.
IQ Student Accommodation owns and manages more than 28,000 beds across the U.K. and has a development pipeline of over 4,000 beds. The company’s portfolio is concentrated in London.
“This acquisition is a continuation of our strategy to invest in high-quality assets and businesses in the U.K. and testament to our long-term belief in the U.K.,” says James Seppala, head of real estate Europe at New York City-based Blackstone. “British higher education is globally renowned and we are delighted to invest meaningful capital to support iQ’s further growth and continue to deliver the highest quality accommodation for students across the country.”
Goldman Sachs International, Morgan Stanley & Co. International and Eastdil Secured served as financial advisors and Jones Day served as legal counsel to the sellers in the transaction. Bank of America and Citi served as financial advisors; Savills served as property adviser; and Kirkland & Ellis and Gowling WLG served as legal counsel to Blackstone in the transaction.