Student rooms provider UPP issues bond

Student accommodation provider UPP has launched its first bond, backed by the income from student residences at five universities.

March 6, 2013

It is looking to raise £382 million against the future revenues from accommodation projects at the University of Kent, the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Oxford Brookes University and Plymouth University.

The bonds will pay out until up to 2047, UPP said.

Jon Wakeford, UPP’s director of strategy and communications, said: “Universities have a long-term business model and we’re in partnership for 40 years.”

UPP has previously financed its accommodation projects using bank loans, and the bond is being issued because it is a cheaper and longer-term method of financing higher education infrastructure, Mr Wakeford explained.

UPP has the capacity to issue up to £5 billion in bonds using other accommodation and infrastructure assets, he added.

Other universities’ accommodation could be added to the bond, he said.

According to UPP, the bond is 100 per cent oversubscribed and Mr Wakeford said that the interest was “very positive for the sector”.

In a statement, Sean O’Shea, chief executive of UPP, said that the oversubscription showed “significant appetite in the market for secure investment grade rated infrastructure assets offering attractive, stable returns”.

“This programme is part of our strategy to match long-term institutional investment to the longevity of university business models,” he added.

Last year private accommodation provider UNITE launched its own retail bond, which will mature in 2020.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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