Atlanta apartment giant Cortland, which has about 55,000 units in 18 U.S. cities, has purchased the U.K. firm LIV Group in Leeds as it continues an expansion into that market.
Cortland CEO Steven DeFrancis told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that the acquisition would ensure the company doesn’t have to start from scratch in a market that is flush with opportunity but remains challenging for U.S. builders thanks to regulations on land acquisition and other issues.
Like Cortland, LIV Group specializes in the “build-to-rent” segment, where the developer creates a new building for the sole purpose of generating rental income over the long haul. LIV has 2,000 units under management with 7,000 in its pipeline. It also has a consulting arm that is working in both the U.K. and Ireland.
Cortland plans to spend $4.9 billion to build a portfolio of 10,000 units in the United Kingdom, the company said in a news release. It opened its office in London in 2017, also with the goal of providing third-party management services for other investors and operators.
LIV Group was seen as jump-starting Cortland on those goals.
“LIV Group shares our passion for the resident and is built upon a deep expertise in property management with a unique understanding of brand and culture. We felt an immediate kinship and saw a great opportunity to bring our resident-first rental experience to the UK, and our purchase of LIV will help accelerate that,” Mr. DeFrancis said in the release.
LIV’s founders, Graham Bates and Helen Peace, will remain stakeholders in the newly acquired business.
Most of LIV’s projects are in England, with a few in Scotland. The company works with real estate investment trusts, or REITs, as well as local authorities and has converted both offices and schools into residential rental units.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cortland reportedly made its first U.K. purchase of Orion Property in September 2017, providing its entry into the market.
Learn more here or at www.cortland.com.