Addleshaws and Freshfields don gowns as BarCap eyes campus sell-off

Addleshaw Goddard and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have landed roles advising on Barclays Capital’s much-vaunted sale of its stake in University Partnerships Programme (UPP) to Dutch pension fund manager PGGM.

Alex Carver
Alex Carver

PGGM has reportedly been close to buying Barclays Capital’s stake in UPP, the UK’s largest university campus developer with around 22,000 rooms in its portfolio, since September last year.

UPP is owned by funds managed by Barclays Infrastructure Funds, BarCap’s infrastructure equity investing business.

If the parties do sign, it will be one of the largest corporate deals in the property sector of the past year, with reports suggesting that the sale of the majority of BarCap’s stake – around 80 per cent – could fetch between £850m and £1bn.

Addleshaws real estate head Adrian Collins is advising Barclays Infrastructure Funds, after the firm acted for UPP on two occasions in the past year. In December 2011 it advised UPP on its £250m partnership deal with Reading University, which will see the developer take control of more than 4,300 student apartments, while earlier this year it advised UPP on a £56m deal to finance and build 911 student accommodation units, as well as other leisure and recreational facilities, for Nottingham Trent University.

Freshfields, led by finance partner Alex Carver, is advising PGGM, which is understood to be a new client for the firm.

News of the deal comes shortly after Berwin Leighton Paisner and DLA Piper acted on Round Hill Capital’s £400m purchase of Blackstone’s student living business, Nido (16 July 2012).