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Student rooms refinanced for £70m

17 December 2008

University Partnerships Programme (UPP), the specialist provider of on-campus student accommodation, has completed a major refinancing packages at two of its university partners, for which it raised approximately £70million in senior debt from Barclays Bank.

With Oxford Brookes University, UPP has signed a deal to extend its lease on 750 rooms until December 2050. UPP built the accommodation over two phases in 2002/3, and has secured 100% occupancy on the rooms ever since. In a similar arrangement at the University of Reading leases have been extended on both the Student Village and St George’s residences until October 2050. Here, the schemes have also achieved 100% occupancy since being built. The deals also involved extending the maintenance/lifecycle fund at both universities and their facilities management contracts.

Sean O’Shea, UPP’s chief executive, said: ”These are challenging times for much of the property industry, but our ability to raise significant levels of debt shows just how well the student accommodation sector is faring in comparison to other sectors. Since April we have managed to raise more than £350m of debt, covering six transactions across five of our eleven partner universities. The deals with Oxford Brookes and Reading were signed within a very tight timetable and the universities responded extremely well, with all parties working together to complete the transactions with the Bank in just over four weeks. These deals enable the universities to drive funds into other facilities, to the ultimate benefit of the student.”

University Partnerships Programme (UPP) is the trading name of the UPP Group of companies. It specialises in funding, developing and operating student accommodation schemes. It has invested almost £1 billion in the higher education sector and plans to invest a further £1 billion over the next two years.

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