Temasek-backed Mapletree acquires world’s biggest corporate housing firm

Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd (Mapletree), a real estate development, investment and capital management company backed by Temasek Holdings, has acquired Oakwood Worldwide (Oakwood), a global provider of corporate housing and serviced apartment solutions.

Financial terms of the acquisition are undisclosed. The acquisition comes at a time when Mapletree is strengthening its global presence in markets such as Australia, Europe and the US. Presently, Mapletree manages four Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and five private real estate funds, which hold a diverse portfolio of assets in Singapore and Asia Pacific.

As at 31 March 2016, Mapletree owns and manages S$34.7 billion ($24.4 billion) of office, retail, logistics, industrial, residential, corporate housing and serviced apartment, and student housing properties.

The acquisition covers all of Oakwood’s global operations and will see Christopher Ahearn appointed as Oakwood’s chief executive. Oakwood’s Founder and Chairman Howard Ruby will assume the non-executive role of Chairman Emeritus at Oakwood, where he will serve in an advisory role to Oakwood on the corporate housing business.

Mapletree’s acquisition of Oakwood is part of its long-term strategy to strengthen its corporate housing and serviced apartment business. Currently, all of Mapletree’s nine corporate housing and serviced apartment assets in US and Australia are managed under the Oakwood brand.

This is part of a 2014 collaboration which saw Mapletree acquire a 49 per cent stake in Oakwood’s Asia Pacific operating arm, Oakwood Asia Pacific.

Oakwood is the largest provider of corporate housing and serviced apartments globally, with a presence in more than 95 countries. It currently serves more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies, and works with the 10 largest US relocation companies. In addition to a vast supply chain inventory, Oakwood manages a portfolio of more than 50 branded properties globally.

In addition to the nine Mapletree properties operated by Oakwood (US and Australia), Mapletree is currently developing three serviced apartment properties in Japan and Vietnam as well as one other asset under development in the US, which will be managed by Oakwood Worldwide upon completion.

Hiew Yoon Khong, Mapletree’s Group CEO Commented: “This acquisition is strategic and commercially significant to Mapletree. Our full ownership of Oakwood will allow us to enhance efficiencies and the growth momentum of our corporate housing and serviced apartment business. In addition, Oakwood is a reputable global brand and we intend to continue strengthening its presence.

“Furthermore, Mapletree intends to step up the acquisition and development of corporate housing and serviced apartment assets that will add to our earnings streams and expand housing options available to Oakwood’s clients and guests. We will be looking at markets across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific, which are also regions where Oakwood is a well-regarded brand,” he adds.

As Oakwood’s new CEO, Ahearn will draw from his background as a Senior Advisor to TPG Capital in driving performance.  He also served as Oakwood’s SVP (Sales & Marketing) from 2005 to 2010. Speaking on his new role, Ahearn, said, “I am delighted to be returning to Oakwood as the new CEO. Howard is a pioneer in this industry and I am honoured to have been entrusted to carry forth his legacy and lead the company into this new chapter under Mapletree’s ownership.”

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