Cambridge UK law firm Mills & Reeve has acted for Aviva Commercial Finance Limited on two significant transactions in the massively-growing student accommodation sector.In the first, Aviva has agreed to provide over £50 million of senior debt to Uliving, a consortium of Equitix, Derwent Housing Association and Bouygues Developments, which will be delivering 1400 student rooms for the University of Essex in a mix of existing and new accommodation.
The second is the provision of £36.5m senior debt for Universities Partnership Programme (UPP) to develop new accommodation at the University of Reading.
Only last December, Mills & Reeve advised Aviva on the loan of £184 million to UPP to finance a student accommodation project at Reading. This was the largest ever single private sector residential investment in a UK university and involved outsourcing the operation and management of the university’s 4,321 student bedrooms and accommodation.
Raith Pickup, partner and head of projects at Mills & Reeve, said: “The changes in tuition fees have brought the question of student accommodation into sharp focus as universities compete for an increasingly discerning market. Our work in advising Aviva on these ground-breaking transactions re-affirms our position as leading specialists in this important and growing sector.”
Kevin Sale, director of commercial finance at Aviva, added: “Mills & Reeve have once again brought their huge experience of student accommodation transactions to help us with our strategic development in this exciting market.”
The Mills & Reeve team on both projects was led by Raith Pickup and included Helen Bolton, Andrew Wood, Sheila Balchin, Elizabeth Thomas, Nick Harris, Ted Powell, Jens Henniker Heaton, Andrew Secker, Andrew Morton and Deborah Watts.
In the first deal, Uliving was advised by Trowers & Hamlins, University of Essex advised by Pinsent Masons and Derwent Housing Association Limited were advised by McClure Naismith. In the second deal UPP Limited were advised by Addleshaw Goddard and University of Reading advised by Clarkeslegal.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Raith Pickup