Liberty Living’s former owner, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, has got in return an £18m stake in Unite through the issue of nearly 72.6m new ordinary shares of 25 pence each. It also gets a seat on Unite’s board.
Liberty Living has more than 24,000 beds under management across 51 residences in 19 cities across the UK. Unite has 600,000 student beds across 22 cities.
Unite chief executive Richard Smith said: "I am delighted that we have completed the transformational acquisition of Liberty Living, reinforcing our position as a leading provider of purpose-built student accommodation in the UK. This deal brings together two complementary businesses who share a commitment to providing high quality, affordable student accommodation with a focus on service and welfare and a strategic alignment to universities where student demand is strongest.
"The deal will accelerate our earnings, driving meaningful accretion from 2020 onwards. It also gives us enhanced scale which, combined with our best-in-class operating platform, means we are well-placed to meet the substantial market opportunity from the 1.5 million students requiring accommodation each year."