A FIRM which started life as a construction company and now claims to be the leading specialist in student residential accommodation floated on the stock market this week.
Shares in Unite Group started trading at 85p on Tuesday, valu-ing the firm at £20.5 million.
United expects the number of students to increase by 50 per cent in the next eight years and the flotation will provide working capital to accelerate the company's growth rate.
Formed in 1991 by Nicholas Porter, Unite is based in South- West England. It provides integrated student housing solutions which include design and build of new sites, conversions and refurbishments. The firm employs 110 staff, including an in-house team of architects, designers, quantity surveyors and project managers, although construction work is contracted out.
Its formula often involves modular-designed bedrooms which are assembled off-site. Unite retains developments and generates income by letting them on long-term leases. Last year, it reported a pre-tax profit of £580,000 on turnover of £5.5 million.