SPH buys student accommodation in Germany

Galileo Residenz is on the University of Bremen campus, which has around 19,000 students, and is within walking distance of Bremen Technology Park, which houses over 500 companies. It has had near-full occupancy over the past nine years, SPH said yes
Galileo Residenz is on the University of Bremen campus, which has around 19,000 students, and is within walking distance of Bremen Technology Park, which houses over 500 companies. It has had near-full occupancy over the past nine years, SPH said yesterday.PHOTO: SAVILLS AND LIBERTY LIVING

Company diversifies portfolio beyond Britain with $23.4m acquisition of 284-bed facility

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is diversifying its student accommodation portfolio beyond Britain with a €15.6 million (S$23.4 million) purchase in Germany.

The firm is buying freehold Galileo Residenz in Bremen near Hamburg - its fifth investment since last year.

The asset comprises 284 beds and is on the University of Bremen campus, which has around 19,000 students - about 60 per cent of the total number of students in the city, said the university's website.

It is within walking distance of Bremen Technology Park, which houses more than 500 companies and is a hub for high-tech and research in northern Germany.

Galileo Residenz has had near-full occupancy over the past nine years, SPH said yesterday.

While Britain remains a key focus for SPH, Germany has potential as it has one of the largest student populations in Europe.

Total student numbers in German universities rose by more than 30 per cent over the past decade to 2.87 million in the winter semester of 2018/2019, SPH noted.

Galileo Residenz will be managed by Host, a unit of Victoria Hall Management, which has more than two decades of industry experience.

Host is one of the largest providers of purpose-built student accommodation in Britain and manages more than 10,000 beds in 24 cities in Europe.

The acquisition expands SPH's purpose-built student accommodation portfolio to 5,343 beds across 11 cities in Britain and Germany.

SPH chief executive Ng Yat Chung said: "We continue to seek high-quality, cash-yielding assets for our... portfolio and grow recurring income."

The proposed acquisition is not expected to have any material impact on the group's net tangible assets or earnings per share for the year ending Aug 31, 2020.

SPH shares closed down 3 per cent at $2.26 yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2019, with the headline 'SPH buys student accommodation in Germany'. Print Edition | Subscribe