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Fri October 30 2020

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Unite confirms buy out of Connaught JV for just £40

5 Nov 10 Unite has confirmed its buy out of Connaught's 40% share in UCS, a joint venture between the two firms which provides maintenance to student accommodation.

Chief executive Mark Allan said Unite had paid just £40 to acquire the stake, in line with the joint venture agreement, following Connaught's demise in September.

This will give Unite control of all maintenance services across its student accommodation portfolio.

Allan said the firm has recently increased its 2011 pipeline to 1,277 beds across four projects with the addition of a £6m, 119-bed scheme in Manchester.

In London, its 2012-2014 pipeline of 2,300 beds is “now contractually secure and planning consents have already been obtained for two projects totalling 817 beds, which will be delivered for occupation in 2012”.

Its prefab business, Unite Modular Solutions, will manufacture a total of 1,135 modules in 2010 and is looking for opportunities to win third party contracts to enhance production levels for 2011 and beyond.

Allan said that the Browne review of university funding made recommendations “broadly in line with our expectations and our view remains that demand for Unite's accommodation will remain robust in the coming years”.

Summarising the outlook, he added: “Whilst we are pleased with the Group's operational performance so far in 2010, the Group remains mindful of the risks to a fragile recovery in the UK economy and continues to manage the business and its finances prudently whilst carefully pursuing growth opportunities that offer an appropriate return.

“The fundamentals of the student accommodation sector remain strong and the Group's track record and expertise, coupled with its financial and operational strength, leave it well placed to succeed.”

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