Bahrain’s Mumtalakat and Investcorp explore potential partnership in UK student housing

4 Jul 2023

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment firm with an established presence in the UK and Bahrain, today announced that they are discussing establishing a joint platform dedicated to investing in and the management of UK student housing assets.

The announcement is part of a series of initiatives led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, who is currently on an official visit to the United Kingdom, to strengthen business ties between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Under this potential initiative, Mumtalakat and Investcorp would look to jointly own a student housing-focused operating platform created by Investcorp. The platform, which manages the refurbishment and leasing of Investcorp’s Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) assets in the UK and helps with their acquisition and underwriting, currently manages a portfolio of approximately 1,200 beds across Nottingham, Bristol, Exeter and Leeds.

In a context of growing demand for housing from both domestic and international students in the UK, the platform’s ambition is to acquire an additional 700-1,000 beds annually over the next several years, growing into one of the largest operators of HMO student housing in the UK over time.

HE Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Mumtalakat, commented: “We continue to explore investment opportunities that will add value and grow our portfolio through strategic partnerships. By joining hands with Investcorp, we believe that we would be able to further establish a best-in-class investment platform that focuses on fulfilling the increasing demand in the UK for student housing.”

Rishi Kapoor, Investcorp’s Co-Chief Executive Officer, added: “We believe that there is a shortage of well-managed, well-maintained, and affordable student HMO assets in major UK university cities. Our platform seeks to provide a best-in-class service which benefits the students, parents, the university ecosystem and the towns and cities where we have assets, and we believe that it could be further enhanced by a potential partnership with Mumtalakat. A major component of our investment thesis is a significant upgrade of the asset fabric and improving on the ESG credentials of the assets.”