A Charleston-based company that owns and manages apartment buildings all over the United States is testing its know-how across the pond.
Greystar Real Estate Partners said Friday it is buying 21 student housing properties in England in its first-ever U.K. acquisition.
The Broad Street company said it signed the purchase agreement Sept. 25. It expects to finalize the deal by the end of October. Goldman Sachs & Co. also is a partner in the deal.
Financial terms were not disclosed. A report in the British real estate website propertyweek.com estimated the purchase price at around $462 million.
“This transaction aligns perfectly with Greystar’s strategy to acquire assets that, while fundamentally sound, will benefit greatly from our organization’s track record of repositioning and improving assets in order to provide a superior living experience for our residents,” said CEO Bob Faith.
Faith, who served as former Gov. Mark Sanford’s first commerce secretary, said in statement that he expects “minor operational differences” between Greystar’s U.S. and European investments. He added that “we firmly believe the combination of well-amenitized accommodations and best-in-class customer service is a very basic requirement, irrespective of geographic location or culture.”
Greystar is the largest U.S. apartment operator, with about 215,000 units under management in more than 100 markets. It also owns 45,000 rental units valued at $5.5 billion, and its development arm began work last year on 5,360 units.
Locally, Greystar built the newly opened Elan Midtown at Meeting and Spring streets on the peninsula.
Most of the U.K. properties it’s acquiring are in London, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.
Greystar is buying the portfolio from a bankruptcy administrator. The previous owner, Opal Property Group, collapsed in March after it was unable to refinance $1.3 billion in debt.
“This transaction provides access to a number of well-located but under-managed assets that we believe will be the first of many acquisitions in this sector,” said Brett Lashley, Greystar’s U.K. managing director.
Contact John McDermott at 937-5572
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