HUNDREDS of student properties have been sold in a near £40m deal involving two North East firms.
Newcastle-based Law firm Dickinson Dees played a pivotal role in the £39.1m sale of the 366 student properties sold by the administrators of Grant West Property Ltd and Grant Residential Property Ltd to Addington Capital backed by Europa Capital.
And, under an agreement with Lloyds Banking Group, Newcastle-based property group Grainger are the strategic asset and property managers to the administrators.
The properties are mainly houses that are privately let to students across UK cities such as Newcastle, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham.
Nigel Emmerson, residential real estate partner with Dickinson Dees, who advised Grainger and the administrators, explained: “This was a complicated transaction where we acted jointly for the administrators, Ernst & Young, and Grainger Residential Asset Management Platform (RAMP), assisted by Anderson Strathern in respect of the Scottish property element.
“The team was led by Emma Garfit, supported by John Morgan, who drew on the combined resource of our residential investment and insolvency real estate teams.
“We have proved again that we are the leading team in the area of residential investment real estate, handling another high profile and complex deal.”
Alex Greaves, fund manager for Grainger, said: “I would like to thank the Dickinson Dees team, led by Emma Garfit, who did a first-class job in ensuring that this difficult deal was concluded to everyone’s satisfaction. The commitment and expertise shown by the legal team was exemplary.”
RAMP was set up last year to manage distressed residential assets.
Grant West Property and Grant Residential Property were backed by entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter and Uberior, the private equity division of HBOS. The company’s initial intention when established in 2007 was to develop a £1bn portfolio, but at its height it only reached a value of about £150m.
Addington Capital was set up by former CIT Group directors Martin Roberts and Matthew Allen in 2010. It made its first investment in March, when it bought the Sapphire Retail portfolio with the European Property Investors Special Opportunities Fund for £145m.