GIC invests in student housing in Germany

GIC and GSA announced a partnership to invest in student accommodation in Germany. The portfolio features properties in Frankfurt (pictured), Darmstadt, Munster and Dresden as well as a pipeline of 1,500 beds. PHOTO: GIC

Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and global student accommodation specialists GSA yesterday announced a partnership to invest in student accommodation in Germany - their second such investment in the past week.

The cornerstone investment of the partnership is a portfolio of close to 1,000 student beds, which GSA acquired in June.

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 the 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.

Said Mr Nicholas Porter, GSA executive chairman, in a 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 pre- sent 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."

Last week, GIC said it had tied up with GSA to acquire a 7,150-bed United Kingdom student accommodation portfolio from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

The transaction is the UK's largest student accommodation deal so far this year, GIC said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2016, with the headline GIC invests in student housing in Germany. Subscribe