UPP achieves financial close on University of Exeter’s East Park project

WCN Editorial Team 11 Jan 2019 EUROPE BUILDINGS

University Partnerships Programme (UPP), a UK-based on-campus residential and academic accommodation infrastructure provider, has reached financial close on a £139.7m deal with the University of Exeter on East Park project.

Under the deal, UPP will design, build, fund and operate 1,182 high-quality bedrooms on the University’s Streatham Campus.

The largest build of on-campus accommodation at the university since 2012, the scheme will consist of a mix of standard, en-suite and enhanced accessible bedrooms.

After completion, UPP will operate more than 4,000 rooms on the University of Exeter campus.

The deal increases UPP’s portfolio to more than 35,000 rooms in operation or under construction through long-term partnerships with 15 UK universities.

The investment will include £125.1m of index-linked debt financing with a 48-year tenor from Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) and £14.6m of subordinated debt and equity provided by UPP Group and its shareholders.

This will be PIC’s sixth investment it has completed with UPP on a bilateral basis, taking the total investment in UPP schemes to £530m.

Vinci Construction UK has been appointed to deliver the development, which has a construction value of £91m.

UPP CEO Richard Bienfait said: “This new project is a testament to the strength of our bespoke, long-term partnership with the University of Exeter, first formed in 2009.

“When complete, we will operate over 4,000 on-campus residences in Exeter, in continued support of the University’s strategy and providing the very best student experience.”

Construction is scheduled to commence in January 2019 and the rooms are expected to become operational over two phases in September 2020 and September 2021.

University of Exeter registrar and secretary Mike Shore-Nye said: “East Park is a very exciting new project for the University of Exeter, which will enhance our facilities and increase the number of on-campus bedrooms we have available for future students.

“Reaching financial close is a key milestone for the project and we look forward to seeing the construction phase commence in the very near future.”

PIC debt origination manager Florence Carasse said: “This investment is another step in our long-term relationship with UPP, which has seen us invest in some of the leading universities in the UK.

“The emphasis we have in our portfolio is to ensure the cashflows are secure and will be there to meet our pension liabilities.”


Image: A CGI of the Middle Square Market. Photo: Courtesy of UPP Group Limited.

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