Mapletree exploring US$1 billion student housing Reit IPO in Singapore

Mapletree owns four Singapore-listed Reits and six private equity real estate funds. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Mapletree Investments, a property developer and manager, is exploring listing a student housing real estate investment trust (Reit) in Singapore that could raise about US$1 billion (S$1.33 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.

The company, which is owned by Singapore investment company Temasek, is in preliminary discussions with prospective advisers on the offering plan, said the people. An initial public offering (IPO) could take place as soon as next year, one of the people said, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

Any deal would add to the US$5.6 billion of property trust IPOs in Singapore over the last five years, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. At US$1 billion, it would be the country's biggest Reit listing since 2013 when Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust raised US$1.4 billion, the data shows.

Deliberations are ongoing and details of the offering, including size and timeline, could still change, the people said.

"We are constantly reviewing options and will announce accordingly if we have firm plans," a Mapletree spokesman said in response to a Bloomberg News query.

Mapletree owns four Singapore-listed Reits and six private equity real estate funds, according to its latest annual report. It had $60.5 billion assets under management as at the end of March last year.

Its portfolio spans from residential and industrial assets to data centres, retail space and lodging in 13 markets across Asia, Europe and the United States.

In 2019, Mapletree acquired two purpose-built student accommodation assets near Coventry University in Britain and completed its first student lodging development in the country.

These moves took the company's total purpose-built student accommodation assets to 50, with more than 22,000 beds located across 33 cities in Britain, the US and Canada, its annual report shows. Including projects under development, the total student accommodation assets under management amount to approximately $3.6 billion.

Mapletree is looking at listing two Reits that could be backed by overseas assets in student accommodation and logistics, with a "sweet spot" for each IPO of about $2 billion, its group chief executive officer Hiew Yoon Khong said in an interview in 2019.

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