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ADIB provides AED 124 million structured financing for prime purpose-built student accommodation asset located in Kingston upon Thames, London

Supporting Bahrain based Blacksand with their latest acquisition. 

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a leading financial institution, has provided structured financing of AED 124 million (£24 million) through its UK operation supporting Bahrain based Blacksand with their latest acquisition. Blacksand is a UK focused property company, which owns a diversified property portfolio ranging from offices to student accommodation as well as residential development projects. 

The subject property (known as Vibe Student Living) comprises a high quality, purpose-built student accommodation (“PBSA”) asset situated in Kingston-upon-Thames, which was completed in February 2018.  The property provides 300 fully furnished units across 111 studios and 189 en-suite cluster bed spaces. Facilities include gym, indoor cinema, cleaning service, bicycles to rent, study pods, lounges and a laundry room.  The property also has a retail unit on the ground floor leased to Europcar for an unexpired lease term of 8 years (no tenant break options).  

Paul Maisfield, Head of UK Real Estate at ADIB, said: “We are delighted to have supported Blacksand on this transaction and we look forward to continuing to support the execution of their UK commercial real estate investment strategy, targeting prime regional assets with good income visibility and strong tenant covenants with a focus on cash yield.  

The appetite amongst our GCC investors remains strong for quality UK real estate, particularly assets that have demonstrated resilience during the pandemic, with underlying strong fundamentals.  Despite the unparalleled uncertainty during the last academic cycle, investors continue to view the UK PBSA sector favourably.  The market has performed stronger than expected throughout the crisis, with reports of robust booking and occupancy rates.  This was reflected on the subject property, which maintained 95% occupancy during the 2020/21 academic year and has secured 100% bookings for 2021/22.

The outlook for the PBSA sector for 2021 is strong and we anticipate demand to increase in the next few years. The message from the government remains positive with ambitions to double international student numbers; the allure of a British education continues to appeal, and overall the reputation of PBSA as a counter-cyclical asset class, remains at the forefront of its attraction to investors.”

Blacksand was advised by Foot Anstey LLP & Mutual Finance and ADIB was advised by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP. 

ADIB has a strong track record in offering bespoke and competitive Sharia-compliant property financing solutions for its clients in the UK. This year alone, it has closed over AED 750 million (£150 million) in senior financing transactions including AED 260 million (£52 million) financing for a major Saudi investor to acquire the PWC HQ in Belfast.

ADIB’s UK operations is part of the Bank’s International Business Group, which also has operations in the Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iraq. 

About ADIB
ADIB is a leading bank in the UAE with more than AED 127 billion in assets. The bank also offers world-class online, mobile and phone banking services, providing clients with seamless digital access to their accounts 24 hours a day. ADIB provides retail, corporate, business, private banking and wealth management solutions. The bank was established in 1997 and its shares are traded on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

ADIB has presence in six strategic markets: Egypt, where it has 70 branches, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Sudan and Iraq.

Named the no. 1 UAE bank on the Forbes list of World's Best Banks 2021 and the World’s Best Islamic Bank by The Financial Times’ The Banker publication, ADIB has a rich track record of innovation, including introducing the award-winning Ghina savings account, award-winning co-branded cards with Emirates airlines, Etihad and Etisalat and a wide range of financing products.