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Maven leads investment in Space Student Living Limited

Maven has led the off-market acquisition of certain trade and assets from the Ely Property Group, most notably a number of long term student accommodation management contracts in the UK and Ireland.

The new business, which will be branded as Space Student Living and operate from a commercial hub in London, will focus its resources and expertise on providing contracted management services in the student housing sector where there is considerable scope for further growth. The business has developed a solid recurring revenue base generated from seven established sites which are operating at near 100% occupancy and have identifiable levels of long term management fee income.

Maven has backed a proven executive team led by Ely CEO Philip Marley who has considerable experience of running management operations in the student accommodation market and a history of delivering positive investor returns.

The team at Space is committed to building the business into one of the UK’s leading specialist student housing operators, providing an end-to-end service to clients. This fully integrated accommodation solution will differentiate Space in the commercial student housing sector, covering everything from the initial identification of appropriate sites, through overseeing the planning and development phases, to ultimately managing the accommodation under long term contract.

The management team forecasts significant growth from the ongoing expansion of its consultancy services, in tandem with the acquisition of additional management contracts. The student accommodation sector is estimated to be worth in excess of £20 billion and has remained robust despite the challenging economic backdrop, with rental levels and occupancy rates remaining high.

The sector also shows a very positive long term outlook, due to rising student numbers and increased demand for higher quality accommodation. New developments are expected to offer attractive yields for investors, typically achieving very strong levels of occupancy from the outset. Educational establishments are increasingly looking to leverage competitive advantage by offering accommodation, and often seek to partner with the private sector in this area.

The Maven investment was led by its London-based investment team of Stella Panu (pictured) and Kimberly Martin.

Panu, Partner at Maven, says: "This was a good opportunity to back Philip and his team, who have a track record in this sector and have identified considerable potential for growth from existing operations and the acquisition of additional long term management contracts, with the London student accommodation market in particular expected to offer a number of attractive opportunities. Maven is delighted to invest in such a resilient sector, which is well insulated against economic downturn. Space has already established a long term contracted income base, and is well positioned to significantly improve revenues and profits in the years ahead.”

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