Campus Crest Buys Canada Hotel in First Outside-U.S. Deal

Campus Crest Communities Inc., a publicly traded owner of U.S. college housing, made its first international acquisition by buying a Montreal property for conversion into a residential tower for students.

In a joint venture with private-equity firm Beaumont Partners SA, Campus Crest acquired the Delta Centre-Ville hotel in downtown Montreal for about $60 million, Chief Executive Officer Ted W. Rollins said. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Campus Crest will have a 20 percent stake in the partnership, which expects to get financing later this year for the redevelopment.

“The numbers are very compelling,” Rollins said in a telephone interview. “There are 80,000 students within walking distance to the property.”

The 33-story property has 711 hotel rooms and is close to McGill University, Concordia University and Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Rollins said. Redeveloped as student housing, the property may have as many as 1,300 beds as well as a library, study rooms and a conference center for university-sponsored events. The conversion is scheduled for completion by the start of the 2014-15 school year.

The tower will be managed by Campus Crest. The Montreal property, along with a 33-story Philadelphia building the company is developing through a joint venture, will be part of a new urban brand of student housing that Campus Crest plans to announce within a few months, Rollins said.

The urban portfolio will be the second new brand announced by the firm this year. Earlier this year, Campus Crest acquired a stake in Copper Beech Townhome Communities LLC, a portfolio of 35 student-housing properties. The deal started Campus Crest’s townhouse brand of residences, Rollins said.

Campus Crest is the smallest by market capitalization of the three publicly traded U.S. companies that own student housing, with an ownership interest in 84 properties with more than 44,002 beds across the country. Its shares have fallen 3.7 percent this year, closing at $11.81 yesterday in New York.

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