BLUE SKY, GOLDMAN SACHS BUY UP STUDENT PADS

BLUE SKY, GOLDMAN SACHS BUY UP STUDENT PADS
BLUE Sky Private Real Estate and Goldman Sachs have purchased a majority stake in a leading Australian student accommodation provider.

The joint venture has made a multi-million dollar investment in The PAD, a student accommodation manager which has been operating for almost 10 years in Australia and currently manages accommodation for nearly 2000 students.

The private equity deal will see The PAD manage the joint venture's student accommodation assets as the parties build a $1 billion portfolio of 5000 to 10,000 purpose-built student accommodation beds across Australia and New Zealand over the next few years.

Brisbane's Blue Sky Private Real Estate, a division of Blue Sky Alternative Investments (ASX: BLA), began its partnership with global investment firm Goldman Sachs in March to address an 'undersupplied' market.

Head of Blue Sky Private Real Estate Adam Vaggelas says this the deal was a logical step to further the group's strategy.

There are currently less than seven PBSA beds for every 100 students in Australia, compared to almost 25 in the UK, with very few participants servicing the market.

"The PAD has a long history as a specialist student accommodation operator and Blue Sky is already working closely with the team on multiple sites," says Vaggelas.

"Their expertise, combined with the newly formed Blue Sky and Goldman Sachs joint venture takes us a step closer to creating a market-leading platform to service the undersupplied student accommodation market in Australia."

The Blue Sky partnership marks Goldman Sachs' entry into the Australian student market, however the company has been active in the European student market for a number of years.

Earlier this year Goldman Sachs announced a $3.8 billion (£2 billion) joint venture to form the Vero Group consisting of approximately 600 staff managing almost 25,000 student beds across the UK.

Entities owned by Goldman Sachs and funds managed by Blue Sky will each own 50 per cent of future projects developed under the Australian joint venture.

Blue Sky and Goldman Sachs' stake was bought from Telopea Capital executives Stephen Gaitanos and Craig Carracher.

Founder and CEO of The PAD, Damian Haber, will stay on board as a joint shareholder in the venture.

Pictured: Blue Sky Private Real Estate's Merivale student accomodation


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