GCP Student Living surges as it agrees £969m takeover
GCP Student Living shares surged on Friday after the student housing provider agreed to be bought by Scape Living and iQSA Holdco in a £969m deal.
The consortium will pay 213p in cash for each GCP share, which is a 30.7% premium to the undisturbed share price of 163p on 1 July.
Scape and IqSA are backed by funds managed by APG Asset Management and Blackstone Funds.
GCP said its directors deem the offer to be fair and reasonable and intend to recommend unanimously that shareholders vote in its favour. The company said that in arriving at its recommendation, it has factored in the increasingly positive news flow in recent months, most notably the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, and the "extremely strong" investment appetite and transaction activity in the purpose-built student accommodation sector.
"However, the GCP board has tempered these factors with a recognition that, because of the continued global impact on travel caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect of Brexit on student movement from the EU, there remains considerable uncertainty on occupancy levels for at least one further academic year and possibly beyond," it said.
"Consequently, whilst the GCP board remains confident in the standalone prospects for GCP, having negotiated several improved proposals from the consortium the GCP board believes that the acquisition allows shareholders to capture anticipated future value today, whilst eliminating the associated uncertainties."
At 1435 BST, the shares were up 11.5% at 214p.