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Trio of firms help students get a room
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Trio of firms help students get a room

The $250 million expansion and maintenance of a regional university’s student accommodation has attracted three large law firms.

Firms: Ashurst (University of Wollongong); Minter Ellison (sponsors); Gilbert + Tobin (lenders)

Deal: The expansion and maintenance of the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) student accommodation

Value: Approximately $250 million

Area: Infrastructure

Key Players: Ashurst’s team on the matter includes partners Harvey Weaver and Melinda Harris, special counsel Rob White and lawyer Mark Emmanuel. Minters advised Balfour Beatty Investments and Morrisons, the sponsors, while G+T advised the lenders, which included the lead arranger, ANZ

Deal Significance: The grant by UOW of a long term licence of its entire student accommodation portfolio to a private sector infrastructure consortium is a first of its kind, in Australia. The lead partner of the consortium, Balfour Beatty Investments, has been granted a 39-year licence of the new and existing accommodation. Over 900 new beds will be built, with maintenance provided on the almost 2000 existing beds. “The University asked us to borrow the best aspects of a PPP and develop bespoke and innovative solutions to achieve the best outcome for the University and its students,” said Melinda Harris from Ashurst. UOW will retain pastoral care and administrative duties.


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