Press release

Goldman Sachs, Wellcome Trust and Greystar launch new student housing company

Goldman Sachs, Wellcome Trust and Greystar have formed a joint venture to launch a new student housing company, Vero Group, it was announced today.

Vero Group consolidates two of the UK's leading student accommodation brands; iQ, owned by the Wellcome Trust, and Prodigy Living, owned by Goldman Sachs and Greystar, into one company with a nationwide presence.

The new company will provide high quality, value for money accommodation to residents and university partners through its portfolio of 23,500 beds across 54 sites in the UK. The company plans to expand and modernise its portfolio, while delivering robust financial performance.

Vero Group will be led by a high quality management team with experience in the student accommodation sector. iQ and Prodigy Living will continue to operate under their respective brands and the company will be headquartered in London.

Richard Spencer, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, said: "Goldman Sachs is delighted to partner with Wellcome Trust and to continue our longstanding relationship with Greystar in the creation of Vero Group. We are committed to building the UK's leading student accommodation provider, offering the best resident experience in the sector to our university and student customers. We look forward to working with our partners and Vero Group's management team to grow the company and to provide compelling financial returns for shareholders and excellent career trajectories for Vero Group employees."

Peter Pereira Gray, Managing Director of the Investment Division at the Wellcome Trust, said: "The Wellcome Trust is a long term investor in the UK student accommodation sector. We are delighted to partner with Goldman Sachs and Greystar to form Vero Group which will build on the success of the iQ and Prodigy Living businesses. We now have the scale and resources required to meet the highest expectations of student and university customers alike through our on-going investment in the existing portfolio, by attracting retaining and motivating the highest calibre employees, and by pursing further growth opportunities. We look forward to making Vero Group a leading operator in the sector."

Wes Fuller, Executive Managing Director of Greystar said: "We are very excited about the evolution of our UK student housing strategy in partnership with two world-class organisations in Goldman Sachs and the Wellcome Trust. One of Greystar's goals when entering the UK market was to build an industry-leading student housing organisation and this transaction accomplishes the goal.We will continue to be driven to grow our portfolio while providing superior service to our stakeholders: students, parents and universities."