Wave of Opal sites falls into administration

Ernst & Young has been appointed administrator to more than a dozen subsidiaries of Opal Property Group, after it failed to agree funding extensions with its lenders.

Manchester-based Opal had until 1 March to agree deals with 14 lenders on debt and liabilities of more than £1bn.

Royal Bank of Scotland recruited Ernst & Young more than a year ago to advise on its options and is believed to have led the break-up.

Opal is the third biggest student accommodation owner in the UK with 20,000 rooms.

The companies going into administration have 7,200 tenants in nine locations: Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Dundee, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leicester, London, and Wolverhampton. The companies entering into in administration are OP1, Opal Portfolio 1, Opal Metropolitan, Opal Hulme, Opal SPV2, Opal Portfolio 2, Huddersfield 1, Huddersfield 2, Wharf Homes, Opal Warehouse, Opal City Living, Opal Developments, Opal Commercial Investments. BNP Paribas was appointed receiver of a site in London.

Sam Woodward, partner at Ernst & Young and joint administrator to the Opal companies, said: "Following the expiry of facilities, the companies…have failed to agree an ongoing funding structure with its secured lenders.

"We are keen to stress that it is business as usual for the portfolio. Tenants should be assured that any rents paid in advance will be honoured by the Administrators. The managing agents will continue to operate the properties and residents should continue to enjoy the accommodation and facilities on offer."

Earlier this week, Mazars was appointed administrator of Ocon Construction, which built the Opal developments.

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