Blackstone in £4.7bn deal for student digs firm iQ Student Accommodation

Michael Bow
A wave of industrial action is due to begin on Thursday: PA Wire/PA Images

Blackstone on Wednesday made a £4.7 billion bet on the UK’s university population booming after buying a student digs company from Goldman Sachs.

The financial giant has agreed to buy London-focused iQ Student Accommodation, which has 67 sites across the country targeting students in Russell Group cities like Birmingham and Edinburgh.

It is the UK’s largest-ever private real-estate transaction.

Blackstone is buying iQ due to an expected surge in the student population over the next few years. Student numbers are at an all-time high and are expected to climb.

IQ Student Accommodation was backed by the Wellcome Trust 14 years ago.

The firm got more investment from Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division in 2016.

Residents are treated to private rooms, onsite gyms and trendy open-plan communal areas.

Room costs for London Bankside are £370 per week, equivalent to £1480 per month. A room in Wembley costs £245 per week.

Blackstone’s James Seppala said the deal was a “testament to our long-term belief in the UK. British higher education is globally renowned.”