Valeo: £750m move into UK student housing
Valeo Groupe Europe has revealed it plans to invest between £600m and £750m in the UK student accommodation sector over the next four years.
The move is part of a pan-European acquisition strategy in the student accommodation sector. In 2018, Valeo entered the student arena by acquiring UK operator Urban Student Life, which manages assets with around 3,000 beds.
“We’re now exporting our successful model to Europe”
The deal included the operation and management of student brands LIVStudent and Urban Student Life, now operated under the Valeo Groupe Europe brand.
LIVStudent’s first European development came on stream in Dublin last year with 216 beds. The company also broke ground on a 586-bed Sheffield scheme, which is on schedule to open for the 2019-20 academic year
Speaking to Property Week, chairman Ted Rollins described it as “exciting times” for Valeo.
“We love the UK and this is the start of a long-term investment strategy,” he added.
Rollins, who founded Valeo in 2004, said his company was looking at opportunities in the south of England, the Midlands and the regions, but not central London.
It plans to build schemes with 400-600 beds near cities such as Birmingham, Sheffield and Belfast.
“In the US, we’ve built more than 51,000 beds and we’re now exporting our successful model to Europe,” he added.
Valeo is also looking to expand its presence in Spain and Portugal and late last year closed its rst Iberian fund with Spanish bank Bankinter, after raising €153m (£137m) in equity.
The fund will spend €375m to €425m developing LIVStudent branded residences in the region’s main university towns.