Global real estate company buys stake in student accommodation provider

  • 20th May 2024

Harrogate-based purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) company, Homes For Students (HFS), has welcomed a new major shareholder.

International real estate business, Far East Orchard, has acquired a 49% stake in the business in a deal worth £17.6m.

HFS was founded in 2015 and operates over 40,000 beds in more than 50 university towns and cities in the UK and Ireland and is considered the largest independent PBSA operator in the UK.

Far East Orchard, which has built a reputation in real estate development, investment and management across residential, commercial and hospitality properties in Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK, moved into the development and investment of PBSA properties in the UK in 2015.

Legal firm, Raworths, also based in Harrogate, advised HFS on the deal, having represented the company since its inception.

Martin Corbett, chief executive officer for Homes for Students (HFS), said: “The shareholders and I are pleased to welcome Far East Orchard as a new principal investor to the Homes for Students team following its purchase of 49% of the share capital from four of our exiting investors.

“Since May 2023, we have been operating Far East Orchard’s PBSA property and already established a successful partnership.

“We very much look forward to continuing to grow our enterprise together, investing in our people, technology, and new business streams.”

HFS employ over 800 colleagues and its turnover this year is forecast to be over £80m.

Simon Morris, managing partner at Raworths, added: “The investment by a significant international real estate business is a major show of confidence and further boosts HFS’s reputation as the leading PBSA provider in the UK.”

Far East Orchard was represented by CMS and the exiting investors were advised by Walker Morris and Dentons.


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