Bloomberg News

Blackstone Said to Sell London Student Halls for $670 Million

May 03, 2012

Blackstone Group LP (BX:US), Europe’s biggest buyer of real estate in the past year, agreed to sell three central London student residences to Round Hill Capital LLC for about 415 million pounds ($670 million), according to four people with knowledge of the transaction.

Round Hill, run by former Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds executive Michael Bickford, acquired the three Nido-branded properties owned by funds managed by Blackstone, the people said. They declined to be identified because the transaction won’t be completed until later this month.

Blackstone declined to comment in an e-mailed statement, while no one from Round Hill Capital was immediately available to return two calls seeking comment.

The Nido sale is the largest in the niche U.K. student accommodation market in at least a year and follows 1 billion pounds of transactions last year, according to estimates by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

A larger deal may be pending. Barclays Infrastructure Managers is in exclusive talks to sell an 80 percent stake in University Partnerships Programme to PGGM, the second-largest Dutch pension fund manager. The sale may fetch about 850 million pounds, according to a report by researcher Real Capital Analytics Inc.

The three Nido residences are at King’s Cross, Notting Hill and Spitalfields and have a combined 2,500 student rooms, cafes, fitness centers and laundries, according to the website.

Nido’s Barcelona development and other projects aren’t included in the sale.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Packard in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ross Larsen in London at

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