GIC ties up with GSA to invest in student accommodation in Germany

The GIC corporate logo seen during the GIC Staff Conference in Singapore.
The GIC corporate logo seen during the GIC Staff Conference in Singapore.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and global student accommodation specialists GSA announced on Tuesday (Oct 4) a partnership to invest in such properties in Germany.

The cornerstone investment of the partnership is a portfolio of close to 1,000 student beds, which GSA acquired in June 2016. The portfolio features properties in Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Munster and Dresden as well as a pipeline of 1,500 beds, which will be expanded through investments, developments and in working with local property companies.

GSA's partnership with GIC will target major university cities in Germany such as Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich.

The amount of investment by GIC and other financial terms were not disclosed in the announcement.

Said Mr Nicholas Porter, GSA executive chairman, in the statement: "GIC is a highly experienced capital partner in the student accommodation sector and we are very pleased to be working together with them to realise the significant growth opportunities present in this market."

The companies said purpose-built and managed student accommodation is a new concept for the German rental market, designed to meet the needs of both millennial students and universities that seek to enhance the attraction of their institutions. GSA has set an initial target of opening 10,000 beds in Germany.

Dubai-based GSA also owns and operates student accommodation in Australia, China, Dubai, Ireland, Japan and Britain.

The German properties will be operated under the banner of GSA's Uninest student residences brand, which provides specialist management from viewing to booking to billing, high-speed internet provision, and on-site community management.

Said Ms Madeleine Cosgrave, regional head, Europe, GIC Real Estate: "We are excited to enter the German student housing market which is at an early stage of growth. We see good opportunities for consolidation as the market is highly fragmented."

GSA also recently announced the biggest in a series of transactions over the past two years, acquiring one of the UK's most well-known student accommodation brands - The Student Housing Company and its UK portfolio of more than 7,000 beds.