Russian billionaire buys ballet school student accommodation

Mikhail Fridman has bought Paris Gardens for £61m from McLaren Property

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Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman has bought a Southwark block home to the Central School of Ballet as part of a mass push into UK student accommodation.

Fridman-backed investment vehicle LetterOne Treasury Services has made its debut in the UK student digs market with the purchase of Paris Gardens for £61m from McLaren Property.

The 253-bed property is also home to the ballet school. At the same time LetterOne has agreed to pay £83m to forward purchase four regional developments including in Bath and Brighton. Property agent Tudor Toone advised on the deals.

LetterOne is also on the cusp of completing a £535m acquisition of Carlyle’s Pure Student Living business which includes five luxury London student blocks.

The firm is the latest in a bunch of international investors trying to buy UK student accommodation, wooed by high rents and strong occupancy levels.

Russian oligarch Fridman and his LetterOne fund were also in the news today for progressing with a controversial deal to buy 12 North Sea oil and gas fields from German energy company RWE.