AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, Allianz and APG has partnered with Scape to acquire Australia’s largest student accommodation portfolio.
According to the announcement by AXA-IM Real Assets, Australian Student Accommodation Program Joint Venture (“ASAP JV”) which was formed in September 2019, with AXA IM – Real Assets, Allianz and Scape with APG, has entered into binding contracts to acquire Urbanest, the owner of Australia’s largest Purpose Built Student Accommodation (“PBSA”) portfolio.
The Urbanest portfolio comprises 6,805 beds across 14 operational assets located in four major Australian cities and will be operated by Scape.
The Urbanest portfolio is well diversified by location, being split across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, with an offering ranging from premium studios to affordably priced twin share rooms and apartments. The modern, institutional grade portfolio has an average asset age of circa 4.5 years(3) and offers a wide range of on-site services and amenities for students.
The ASAP JV’s pre-eminent portfolio of student housing assets in Australia will now total 10,315 beds, with the Urbanest acquisition adding to the recent acquisition of a 3,510 bed portfolio from the Atira Student Living platform in September 2019, which marked AXA IM – Real Asset’s entry into the Australian student housing market.
Globally, AXA IM – Real Assets now manages a €2.8 billion student housing portfolio of over 25,000 student beds across six countries(4), on behalf of clients, including assets acquired through its recent acquisition of the Groupe Kley platform, one of the leading operators of PBSA in France.
”The acquisition provides the joint venture with immediate scale as the owner of the largest and most dominant PSBA portfolio in Australia ..”
“The Urbanest portfolio represents a rare and high quality opportunity to grow our recently established joint venture, through investing in the supply constrained and high demand Australian PBSA market. The sector has favourable demand drivers and growing institutional appeal, assets are tightly held and the barriers to entry are relatively high, particularly in Sydney, which makes this opportunity even more appealing. The acquisition provides the joint venture with immediate scale as the owner of the largest and most dominant PSBA portfolio in Australia which will benefit from both near and longer-term operational expenditure synergies. Furthermore, we expect that the consolidation of operators should lead to improved operations, branding, marketing and sector awareness,” said Kumar Kalyanakumar, Head of Australia at AXA IM – Real Assets.