UK residential and student accommodation developer and manager, Watkin Jones, has successfully sold three non-core Private Rented Sector (PRS) properties in Sheffield and Manchester. The purchaser, L1 Capital, is an Australia-based global investment manager.
The portfolio comprises a total of 117,000 square feet across 174 units. It includes 78 units at Gateway and 43 at Impact, both situated in Sheffield, as well as 53 units at The Wharf in Droylsden, Greater Manchester.
This transaction marks Watkin Jones’ first deal with L1 Property. The properties were constructed by Watkin Jones between 2006 and 2008 and have been under the group’s management since then.
The sale is expected to yield an initial net cash inflow of £9 million during the fourth quarter of the financial year 2023, with an additional deferred payment of £2 million scheduled for the first half of the financial year 2024. These payments will be made after settling related debt financing and disposal costs.
The proceeds from the sale will bolster the group’s cash position at the end of the year and enhance its capacity to actively participate in the land market.
George Dyer, Group Investment Director at Watkin Jones, expressed satisfaction with the first collaboration with L1 Property. He stated, “The sale of these assets represents the culmination of our business plan and will enable us to recycle the proceeds into further land opportunities as we look to grow our pipeline in the coming months.”
David Lamm, CEO of L1 Property, conveyed enthusiasm for the acquisition of these notable properties in Sheffield and Greater Manchester, cities recognised for their thriving economies and promising long-term prospects.
Thomas Collins, COO of L1 Property, added, “This transaction aligns perfectly with our vision to enhance the living experience, add significant value through asset management, and continue to develop our fully integrated property management platform.”
Watkin Jones received advisory support from Savills and Mishcon de Reya during the transaction.