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

The UK’s largest charity and parent of iQ Student accommodation – Wellcome Trust, is now working in conjunction with Goldman Sachs and Greystar (Prodigy Student Living) to form a new housing company called “Vero Group”.

 

iQ and Prodigy will remain independent brands, whilst the new joint venture aims to “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”. Vero Group also aims to increase their portfolio, whilst consolidating the existing brands.

 

The three managing directors agreed that this mutually beneficial transaction will benefit the industry overall, and that they will push to be the leading student housing provider in the market.

 

So, what does this mean for you, the student?

 

More money within the market means more halls built, generally of a higher standard, forcing the existing players within the market to follow suit. A larger network of halls with excellent standards can only improve standards further and push competition, therefore proving beneficial for the consumer.

 

A more poignant question is how will student hall providers react to the recent cut in student maintenance grants?

 

This could be a potential gap in the market for hall providers (and Vero Group in particular) to provide budget accommodation (with basic standards) that is a truly feasible option on the new student budget. Could the drop in student finance mean that traditionally higher end providers (such as iQ and Prodigy) suffer? Or will international students prop them up? The only thing for sure is that time will tell.