Frankfurt, 4 October 2016 – GSA the global student accommodation specialists, and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, today announced a significant partnership to capitalise on the opportunity in the German student accommodation market.
The cornerstone investment of the partnership is a portfolio of close to 1,000 student beds, which GSA acquired in June 2016. 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.
Purpose-built and managed student accommodation is a completely new concept for the German rental market, designed to meet the needs of both Millennial students and also universities who seek to enhance the attraction of their institutions. As Europe’s largest student market, Germany presents a significant opportunity for GSA’s planned European expansion and the company has set an initial target of opening 10,000 beds. The properties will be operated under the banner of GSA’s Uninest student residences brand, which provides specialist management, taking care of everything from viewing to booking to billing, high-speed internet provision, and on-site community management.
Nicholas Porter, Executive Chairman at GSA said: “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 present in this market.”
Mr Porter continued: “There is a huge number of students studying in Germany, but accommodation is in short supply and purpose built student accommodation almost non existent. Students are customers of higher education and by creating communities within our Uninest residences, we can enhance their overall university experience.”
Ms Madeleine Cosgrave, Regional Head, Europe, GIC Real Estate, said: “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.”
GSA also recently announced the biggest in a series of transactions over the past two years, acquiring one of the UK’s most well-known student accommodation brands – The Student Housing Company and its UK portfolio of more than 7,000 beds. This acquisition and GSA’s partnership with GIC underlines the group’s ambition and rapid expansion. GSA is now a significant student accommodation operator in Europe and the only operator with student accommodation in nine countries globally.
GSA’s Frankfurt office will lead the operational management of the student residencies and the roll out of the property pipeline. Advisers on the transaction were Nabarro, Freshfields, Osborne Clark and PWC.