Liverpool student living developer Downing secures investment worth £439m

Founded by Formby-born entrepreneur George Downing the firm specialises in large student developments, typically with mixed-use elements such as leisure and retail. Tony McDonough reports

Downing’s £46m Verde student accommodation scheme in Newcastle

 

Liverpool developer Downing has secured a £439m investment – giving the company a significant war chest to pursue new projects across the UK.

The company, founded by Formby-born entrepreneur George Downing, specialises in large student developments, typically with mixed-use elements such as leisure and retail.

An opportunity fund called European Property Investors Special Opportunities IV (EPISO 4) has acquired a 90% stake in a joint venture with projects in several UK university cities.

The venture is committed to forward purchase two more residences next year, including a prime 32-storey, 578-bed scheme in Vauxhall in London, taking the total number of beds to 3,644.

Downing will retain a 10% stake in the joint venture, which will acquire the eight assets in two tranches.

The firm developed all six of the existing halls in the past two years and will deliver the two developments in Glasgow and London. Other locations are Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, Newcastle and Coventry/Warwick.

Downing will use the investment to grow its development pipeline with a number of new student developments over the next five years.

Simon Garnett, finance director at Downing, said: “This partnership further establishes Downing as a major player in the student accommodation sector.

“Our market-leading portfolio and existing immediate pipeline of developments gives us a strong presence across the UK’s leading universities cities.”

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