Pinsent Masons advises University of Essex on £113m student accommodation project

19 Aug 2021 | 03:40 pm | 1 min. read

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised the University of Essex on its Meadows Phases 2B/2C design, build, finance and operate project.

The University and partner for the project, [email protected] LLP, raised £113m of finance through bonds, wrapped by assured guaranty.

The project will see the design, build, finance and operation of 1,262 new bedrooms, with the accommodation expected to be completed for the start of the 2023/24 academic year. Equity in [email protected] LLP was provided by Equitix (80%) and Bouygues (20%).

The team at Pinsent Masons was led by Legal Director Chris Owens included Head of Universities Victoria Goddard, Infrastructure Partner Gillian Frew, Legal Directors Graham Young and Wendy Nicholson, Senior Associate Russell Teale, Associates James McDonald and Natasha Kay.

Owens commented: "We are proud to have supported the University in delivering the third phase of residences with ULiving at the Colchester Campus and our second major student accommodation DBFO project post the outbreak of COVID-19. The timing of the transaction in particular demonstrates the resilience of the student accommodation market and the faith that investors have in the long-term outlook for the sector."

Chris Oldham, Director of Estates & Campus Services of the University of Essex, commented: "We were delighted to be working with Pinsent Masons on this significant student accommodation transaction. Led by Chris Owens, the team at Pinsent Masons provided a tremendous level of expertise and support to the University in guiding us through complex legal and commercial considerations to reach a successful outcome. The team were highly professional, incredibly diligent and a pleasure to work with."

Pinsent Masons has advised a number of universities and private sector partners on student accommodation projects including most recently the Kingston Student Living LLP and the Universities of Brighton, Leicester and York on projects delivering c 5,000 student bedrooms. The firm is currently advising both procuring universities and the private sector on the delivery of c 7,000 student bedrooms.

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