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UNITE completes new £124 million debt facility with Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers Europe

The UNITE Group plc, the UK’s largest developer and manager of student accommodation, announces that it has secured a new £124 million, fixed-rate 10 year debt facility with Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers Europe LLP.

This new loan is secured against four of UNITE’s wholly owned portfolio at 50% loan-to-value and extends the Group’s average debt maturity to seven years  at an average cost of debt of 4.7%. It furthers UNITE’s objective of extending debt maturities, reducing the cost of funding and diversifying funding sources and introducing new lenders to the Group,  with over two-thirds of the Group’s debt now provided from non-bank-sources.

Joe Lister, Chief Financial Officer for the UNITE Group, said: 

“We are delighted to complete this loan with Cornerstone Europe, a new relationship for UNITE. This transaction builds on the Group’s success during 2013 and marks the conclusion of our planned refinancing programme having raised £1.1 billion over the last 12 months. We have delivered on our strategy to diversify sources of funds, extend loan maturities and reduce the cost of debt.”

Chris Bates, Director – Head of Real Estate Finance at Cornerstone, said:

“We have developed a strong relationship with UNITE, and the commercial and pragmatic approach of both sides ensured that this significant transaction was closed within a month of agreeing terms. The transaction typifies our approach of working with market leading operators on quality income producing assets.”