The Leeds project is due for completion in 2026. Credit: via SEC Newgate

Cain ties up £500m forward-funding PBSA deal

Investment firm Cain International will be backed by Israeli insurance group Menora Mivtachim to support the delivery of 2,389 student bedspaces across five consented schemes, including Leeds and York.

The transaction sees Menora Mivtachim Group invest in Cain’s existing UK purpose-built student accommodation platform with developer Fusion Group, alongside the addition of a new development partner, Olympian Homes. The transaction marks Menora’s first direct investment into a UK PBSA programme.

With Olympian, Cain will deliver two new PBSA schemes in Yorkshire, adding up to a combined £150m and 935 bedspaces: in Leeds, the 45-storey Cirrus Point will provide 660 beds across 255,000 sq ft. Cain said this will make it the tallest PBSA building in the world, and the tallest building in Leeds, upon completion in 2026. O’Connell East is the architect.

Olympian acquired the site in 2021 and has been working on plans for delivery since. The scheme will complement the adjacent 44-storey Altus House, which Olympian delivered in 2021.

In York, due to open in time for the 2025/26 academic year, Rialto House will provide 275 beds a ten-minute walk from the city centre and a seven-minute bus ride from the University of York.

Both schemes will offer amenities including a gym, yoga studio, cinema, games room, co-working, group dining and shared outdoor spaces.

RG Group and GMI have been appointed as contractors for the Leeds and York schemes respectively.

With Fusion, Cain will be delivering a further three schemes in Liverpool, Nottingham and Manchester.

Richard Pilkington, senior managing director and head of European real estate at Cain International, said: “This is an important milestone for our ‘beds’ strategy and further demonstrates our confidence in the sector’s attractive fundamentals and potential for growth with reputable developers.

“With over 350,000 beds needed nationally to meet the expected demand across the U.K.’s largest university cities, we believe there is significant opportunity in this market and look forward to delivering and expanding on our strategy through new and existing partnerships.”

Daniel Harris, senior MD and head of European investment at Cain, said: “A transaction of this scale not only underlies our confidence in the fundamentals of the sector, but the strength of our relationships and expertise of our partners.

“We’re delighted to be working with Menora on its first UK PBSA transaction, and with Apollo as a lending partner, both adding great depth to Cain’s platform.”

Nir Moroz, CIO of Menora Mivtachim, said: “The international appeal of the UK’s universities, combined with a supply-and-demand imbalance and opportunity to partner with reputable developers, made this forward funding deal a compelling opportunity to enter the U.K. PBSA market.

“We look forward to further building our relationship with Cain as these assets reach completion.”

Cain International was advised by Cushman & Wakefield, Colliers, Herbert Smith Freehills and Allen & Overy.

Olympian Homes was advised by JLL, Menora was advised by Greenberg Traurig. Apollo was advised by Gibson Dunn, and Fusion was advised by Mishcon De Reya.

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