Charles Haresnape

Gatehouse Bank agrees sale of BTR property portfolio sale to Goldman Sachs for circa £150m

Gatehouse Bank PLC has announced today (8th Janaury) the sale of its Thistle BTR property portfolio to Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and Pitmore for a total consideration of approximately £150m.

The deal comprises a portfolio of 918 units, predominantly two- and three-bedroom homes across North West England.

Developments are strategically located in areas of high demand from families seeking to rent quality property with access to schooling, transport networks and ample amenities.

Barclays will be providing loan finance to Goldman Sachs to support the purchase.

Thistle — a single-family home (SFH) private rental sector (PRS) fund launched in 2014 — is a joint venture between challenger bank Gatehouse and Sigma Capital Group plc, with a total investment in the region of £110m.

Advisers to Gatehouse on the deal were PwC and CBRE, with Dentons providing legal representation. 

Goldman Sachs and Pitmore were advised by Savills, with Herbert Smith Freehills and Jones Day handling legals.

Charles Haresnape, CEO at Gatehouse Bank (pictured above), said: “Thistle has not only been a highly performing investment throughout, it has also proved resilient during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is a key consideration in this market. 

“As such, a strategic decision was made to exit Thistle and crystalise returns for the investors.”

Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer at Gatehouse Bank, added: “The UK PRS has experienced consistent growth over the past five years underpinned by strong supply/demand dynamics.

“We are now looking to further develop our expertise in this sector with the creation of another fund in 2021.”

Peter Burns, residential capital markets leader at CBRE, commented: “The unique nature of this portfolio meant that it was a highly competitive process, further demonstrating the significant weight of capital looking to enter the single-family BTR sector. 

“We are very proud to have drawn upon our national teams and networks to support Gatehouse on this landmark transaction.”

Simon Hampton, real estate corporate finance partner at PwC, added: “The attractive rental price point and resilient nature of this portfolio is demonstrated by an average occupancy in excess of 99% and rent collection in excess of 98%, even during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We certainly anticipate that the weight of domestic and international capital entering the single family BTR sector will continue to increase, especially as investors seek to further diversify in an attempt to drive returns.”

PwC and CBRE are now working with Gatehouse to source a new capital partner by maintaining the same investment composition and seeking to grow its single-family PRS portfolio to more than 3,000 units over the next five years through forward-funding direct from developers.

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