RNS Number : 5876O

Watkin Jones plc

03 October 2019

3 October 2019

Watkin Jones plc

('Watkin Jones' or the 'Group')

Development Transaction update

Watkin Jones plc (AIM:WJG), a leading UK developer of multi-occupancy residential property assets, with a focus on the student accommodation and Build to Rent sectors, is pleased to provide the following update on transactions in its two core sectors.


   --    Forward fund of 762 unit mixed PBSA and Build to Rent development in Sheffield 
   --    Sale of 400 student beds across two schemes in Chester 
   --    Agreements for the development of 638 beds across two schemes in Glasgow and Edinburgh 
   --    Forward fund of two Build to Rent schemes, comprising 325 units, in Sutton and Bournemouth 
   --    Forward sale of a 35 apartment residential development in Chester 

-- Further development of the PBSA pipeline with new sites secured in Edinburgh and Bath and planning obtained for the Group's site in Bristol

Student Accommodation (PBSA)

Forward sales / development agreements

Watkin Jones has completed the forward fund of a mixed PBSA and Build to Rent site, with 691 student beds and 71 Build to Rent units at Steelworks House on Rockingham Street, Sheffield, located in close proximity to the University of Sheffield with AIG Global Real Estate. The consideration payable to Watkin Jones is circa GBP61 million, net of client funding costs. The development is scheduled for a phased delivery between August 2021 and the end of March 2022 and represents the fifth deal between the two organisations.

The Group has also sold two PBSA developments in Chester to Arlington Investors for a combined total value of circa GBP30 million. The first development on Hunter Street, which was completed for the start of the 2019/20 academic year, comprises 77 studios, whilst the second development on Liverpool Road has been exchanged on a forward commitment basis and comprises 323 beds for delivery ahead of the 2020/21 academic year. The consideration for the second development will be paid on hand over of the development. Both schemes will be managed by Fresh Property Group, the Group's specialist accommodation management company.

In addition, Watkin Jones has secured development agreements for two PBSA sites in Scotland with CA Ventures, a Chicago-based real estate investment company and a new client for the Group. The first site comprises 422 beds in Cathedral Street, Glasgow, whilst the second site comprises 216 beds in Dundee Street, Edinburgh. Both developments are scheduled for completion ahead of the 2021/2022 academic year. The combined consideration payable for the development works for both schemes is circa GBP50 million, net of client costs.

Development pipeline

Watkin Jones has recently secured a prime site in Iona Street, Edinburgh, located close to the city centre. The Group will now seek planning permission for a scheme which comprises circa 270 student beds and a further 88 residential units. The scheme is targeted for delivery ahead of the 2022/23 academic year.

The Group has also secured a circa 185 bed site on Lower Bristol Road, Bath which is targeted for delivery ahead of the 2024/25 academic year.

Further to the announcement issued on 1 October 2018, detailing the Group's development portfolio sale to the joint venture between KKR and Round Hill Capital (the 'JV'), Watkin Jones is pleased to confirm that the Group has now secured full planning consent for the scheme in Bristol, which the JV had entered into an option agreement to acquire subject to receipt of the planning consent. The site on Wilder Street is in close proximity to the City centre and Bristol University and comprises 348 beds, which are scheduled for completion ahead of the 2021/2022 academic year.

Build to Rent (BtR)

The Group has forward funded two BtR developments to M&G Real Estate for a consideration of circa GBP90 million, net of client funding costs. The first site is situated in Sutton, London and comprises 166 apartments for delivery in June 2021. The second site, which is located in Bournemouth, is due for delivery in March 2020 and comprises 159 apartments as well as 37,000 sq.ft. of commercial office space. They represent the fourth and fifth transactions which the Group has entered into with M&G Real Estate.

Watkin Jones is also pleased to announce that it has forward sold a residential development of 35 apartments on Trafford Street in Chester to an institutional fund managed by Hearthstone Investment Management, for circa GBP5.2 million. Developed by Watkin Jones' Residential division, the scheme is scheduled for delivery in March 2020.

Richard Simpson, Chief Executive Officer of Watkin Jones, said: "I would like to congratulate the teams involved in concluding these various transactions as planned, underlining the resilience and strength of the Group's business model, as well as that of the sectors in which we operate. We highly value our institutional clients and partners and it is pleasing to see a number of our key relationships strengthened further at this time."

Capital Markets Day & Pre-Close Trading Statement

Watkin Jones will hold a Capital Markets Day for investors and analysts on Tuesday, 5 November 2019 at Duncan House in Stratford, one of the Group's recently completed London based purpose-built student accommodation developments. On the morning of the Capital Markets Day, the Group will issue its FY Pre-Close Trading Statement for the year ended 30 September 2019.

- Ends -

For further information:

Watkin Jones plc 
Richard Simpson, Chief Executive            Tel: +44 (0) 1248 362 516 
Phil Byrom, Chief Financial Officer            www.watkinjonesplc.com 
Peel Hunt LLP (Nominated Adviser & Joint         Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 
 Corporate Broker)                                               8900 
Mike Bell / Ed Allsopp                               www.peelhunt.com 
Jefferies Hoare Govett (Joint Corporate          Tel: +44 (0) 20 7029 
 Broker)                                                         8000 
Max Jones / Will Soutar                             www.jefferies.com 

Media enquiries:

Henry Harrison-Topham / Richard Oldworth   Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000 
 Jamie Hooper / Steph Watson 
watkinjones@buchanan.uk.com                      www.buchanan.uk.com 

Notes to Editors

Watkin Jones is a leading UK developer and constructor of multi occupancy property assets, with a focus on the student accommodation and Build to Rent sectors. The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high quality developments. Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered 41,000 student beds across 123 sites, making it a key player and leader in the UK purpose built student accommodation market. In addition, the Fresh Property Group, the Group's specialist accommodation management company, manages nearly 18,000 student beds and Build to Rent apartments on behalf of its institutional clients. Watkin Jones has also been responsible for over 80 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments. The Group is now expanding its operations into the Build to Rent sector.

The Group's competitive advantage lies in its experienced management team and business model, which enables it to offer an end-to-end solution for investors, delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset.

Watkin Jones was admitted to trading on AIM in March 2016 with the ticker WJG.L. For additional information please visit: www.watkinjonesplc.com

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.



(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 03, 2019 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT)

Watkin Jones (LSE:WJG)
Gráfica de Acción Histórica
De Jul 2020 a Ago 2020 Haga Click aquí para más Gráficas Watkin Jones.
Watkin Jones (LSE:WJG)
Gráfica de Acción Histórica
De Ago 2019 a Ago 2020 Haga Click aquí para más Gráficas Watkin Jones.