PIC invests £129 million into new student accommodation for the London School of Economics and Political Science

18 January 2022

Pension Insurance Corporation plc (“PIC”), a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension funds, has invested £129 million with the London School of Economics and Political Science (“LSE”) to fund the development of a 676-bed student residence in Southwark, London.

The newly constructed student accommodation will be located on Glengall Road, Southwark, and provide additional housing primarily for postgraduate students of the LSE. It will comprise a 15-storey hall of residence, as well as communal spaces, a gym, three roof terraces, a cinema room and two courtyard gardens. The rooms will be marketed at a discount to other options in the LSE’s residential portfolio and over a third of the rooms in the residence will specifically benefit from the London Plan’s affordable student housing requirements, enabling access to good quality housing for lower income students

The LSE is one of the world’s leading social sciences universities, ranking first in Europe and second in the world1 and is a member of the Russell Group.

The new development is sponsored by DIF Capital Partners and is due to be completed in 2024. Design, build, operations and maintenance will be completed by Engie Regeneration, which is a subsidiary of Equans, a global contractor in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors. The LSE will be responsible for pastoral support, reception and allocations.

Key points about the transaction:

  • Long-dated, inflation linked loan, maturing in 2069
  • Investment is tailored to match PIC’s pension payments in years when public debt is scarce
  • The deal uses a deferred drawdown structure, with the £129 million funding provided through five tranches during the construction period

Ian Spencer, LSE Director of Residential Services, said: “One of the priorities in LSE’s 2030 strategy is to Develop the LSE for Everyone. For Residential Services this means guaranteeing an offer of accommodation to all first-year students. The Glengall Road development takes us a significant step towards that goal by providing 676 affordable rooms for our graduate students.”

Thomas Foucoin, Debt Origination Manager at PIC, said: “The need for more quality, affordable student accommodation in London couldn’t be greater. The LSE is a highly attractive institution for students from around the world and has ambitious plans for growth. We are delighted to support these plans by providing investment in much needed new halls of residence for postgraduate students. By investing in assets that serve the next generation, PIC can secure the pensions of its policyholders.”

Gijs Voskuyl, Partner and Head of Investments for DIF Capital Partners, said: “DIF is excited to be growing its portfolio in the student accommodation sector. We look forward to partnering with a world-class university and to support it with its student accommodation delivery”.

Source: PIC
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