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Student property companies sold out of administration 12 March 2014

Administrators from PwC have announced the sale of a portfolio of student property companies out of administration.

Trading under the Opal brand, eight companies in administration were sold to Campus Living Villages, an Australian student accommodation operator, for £244.9m.

Leeds Two Limited, Birmingham One Limited, Opal Student Homes Limited, Tradefull Limited, Opal SPV 1 Limited, Opal Student Accommodation Limited, OSB Limited and Opal Greenwich 1 Limited were all part of the sale.

The portfolio comprised eight student accommodation properties located in seven major cities across England and Wales providing 4,539 bed spaces.

Toby Underwood, David Kelly and Ian Green of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP were appointed as joint administrators of Leeds Two Limited on 13 March 2013, as joint administrators of Birmingham One Limited, Opal Student Homes Limited, Tradefull Limited, Opal SPV 1 Limited and Opal Student Accommodation Limited on 14 March 2013 and as joint administrators of OSB Limited and Opal Greenwich 1 Limited on 15 March 2013.

Underwood, joint administrator and partner at PwC, said: “This is an excellent result for all stakeholders – the secured creditors and universities, but especially the students. This was a highly complex assignment which needed experts from across the PwC network.

“There was significant interest in the properties following our appointment from funds, investors and operators via a number of channels including direct enquiries to the administrators, banks and the wider PwC network.

“Throughout the process we engaged in detailed and complex negotiations with a number of bidders in order to maximise the level of offers. Initial offers were received from 13 parties ranging from individual property bids to those for the whole portfolio, with total bids amounting to over £2bn; over eight times the asking price.

“Campus Living Villages became our preferred bidder for the entire portfolio. Their bid represented the best outcome for creditors on a property by property basis.”

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