DIF gets full ownership of UK uni

The Dutch infrastructure fund manager has acquired the 50% of the £55m University of Hertfordshire project it didn’t already own. The seller was Carillion.

Dutch infrastructure fund manager DIF has acquired full ownership of a university project in the UK from developer Carillion for an undisclosed amount, DIF announced yesterday.

The deal sees DIF acquire the 50 percent of the University of Hertfordshire it didn’t already own, after acquiring an initial 50 percent holding in the project in 2009. DIF’s second infrastructure fund, which closed on €571 million in September 2010, is financing the acquisition.

The University of Hertfordshire project – now fully operational – includes the development and maintenance of student residential facilities, sports and leisure facilities, catering facilities and a retail outlet on the Havilland Campus.

Carillion originally built the facilities, which cost some £55 million (€69 million; $85 million). The concession contract has some 21 years outstanding, expiring in 2033.

Schipol, Netherlands-based DIF recently reached a €320 million first close for its third infrastructure vehicle, which has a €600 million final target and a €750 million hard cap. 

Fund III will, however, look to reach beyond Europe and also target the Canadian market. The firm said it will be able to “source new projects [in Canada] with its existing European sponsor relationships already active in the country, as well as invest in a developing secondary market”.