Unite raises £51m for regional cities push

 
Michael Bow
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STUDENT housing firm Unite Group yesterday raised £51.2m from investors amid a push to develop more sites.

The cash will be put towards a £125m project to develop dormitories in regional cities around the country housing around 2,500 beds.

It added that the project could deliver sites with yields of up to ten per cent, compared to current yields of up to seven per cent.

The shares, jointly placed by JP Morgan and Numis, make up nearly ten per cent of the enlarged market cap and were sold at 320p a piece, a discount to Wednesday’s closing price of 347.5p.

The money will start being used this year, with allocations set to close next year and all investments made by 2016.

Mark Allan, chief executive of Unite Group, said: “Over the past few years, Unite has made significant progress in growing its recurring profits and we are well placed to add further to this as our existing development pipeline is completed.”

ADVISERS UNITE SHARE PLACING

ROBERT FOWLDS
JP MORGAN

Unite Group drew on the services of large cap broker JP Morgan and small cap broker Numis to place yesterday’s 16m shares, with both covering the book in a matter of hours despite yesterday being a down market.

JP’s team was comprised of head of real estate corporate real finance Robert Fowlds, along with Bronson Albery, Barry Myers, and Edouard Asselin. Numis had Heraclis Economides, Ben Stoop and Oliver Hardy handling the book.

Fowlds joined JP Morgan Cazenove in 2006 after leaving his role as joint head of real estate research at Merrill Lynch. His 20-year career as an analyst, including time spent at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, was preceded by a career as a chartered surveyor, when he worked at DTZ and Gooch and Wagstaff. He holds an MBA in finance and a degree in land management.