Singapore, Dutch SWFs Back Euro Hospitality Concept

By Mario Marroquin

Aermont Capital and investor Charlie MacGregor secured two equity commitments for their hospitality concept brand, The Student Hotel, this week.  

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC acquired a stake in The Student Hotel, valuing the concept brand at $2.1 billion, while APG of the Netherlands and MacGregor increased their stake in the company.

“We are pleased to invest in The Student Hotel as its assets are well-located, enjoy good connectivity to city centres and transportation networks, and are in close proximity to universities and other amenities,” Lee Kok Sun, CIO of Real Estate for GIC, said in a prepared statement. “We are confident that this investment will generate resilient long-term returns.”

Aermont Capital will exit its stake in The Student Hotel.

APG, which manages $670 billion (€636 billion) in AUM, first invested in The Student Hotel in 2015, just one year after Aermont Capital invested in the concept brand.

GIC manages $360 billion in AUM and committed capital to The Student Hotel one month after it agreed to a joint venture with Greystar Real Estate Partners for the purchase of U.K.-based Student Roost, the third-largest student housing provider in the country, from a fund managed by Brookfield.

GIC and Greystar valued Student Roost at $4 billion (€3.3 billion), according to Bloomberg, and acquired 23,000 beds and a development pipeline of 3,000 additional beds with the acquisition of the student housing provider.

GIC is also a joint-venture partner with U.K. developer British Land in the Paddington Central campus development near the Paddington station in central London. The sovereign wealth fund entered the partnership in 2013 for $577 million and increased its ownership in the venture to 75% as part of a $850 million transaction in April.

The Student Hotel’s portfolio consists of 25 properties that mix short-term housing, coworking and student housing across 15 cities including Amsterdam, where the company originated, Barcelona, Paris, Madrid, Rotterdam, and Vienna.

The concept brand is slated to open an additional 25 properties in the coming years with three hotels in Madrid, Barcelona and Toulouse opening in 2022.

According to GIC’s own portfolio breakdown, only 14% of the fund’s investments are in the U.K. and continental Europe while 34% of the portfolio is located in Asia and the United States.