The Ascott Limited (Ascott), a wholly-owned lodging business unit of Singapore’s real estate giant CapitaLand, has entered into agreements to acquire two properties in Paris and Hanoi for about S$210 million ($156.2 million).
The transaction was made through the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund (ASRGF), Ascott’s private equity fund with Qatar Investment Authority, according to an announcement.
This acquisition will boost Ascott’s total fund assets under management (FUM) to about S$8 billion. Both properties will be acquired on a turnkey basis and are expected to open in 2024.
In Paris, the property acquired is a freehold asset that will be refurbished to introduce Ascott’s first co-living property in Europe under the lyf brand.
Named livelyfhere Gambetta Paris, it is a 139-unit co-living property located in a vibrant district. With this addition, Ascott has a total of 16 lyf properties with more than 3,100 units across 13 cities and nine countries in the Asia Pacific and Europe.
Meanwhile, the acquisition in Hanoi is the 364-unit Somerset Metropolitan West Hanoi. It is located in Hanoi’s new Central Business District, close to several government agencies as well as local and international corporations.
“Our acquisition of these two prime properties in France and Vietnam is in line with Ascott’s ambition to expand our global lodging business,” said Kevin Goh, CapitaLand’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We are looking to work with like-minded capital partners to set up new funds to expand in resilient asset classes, such as coliving and student accommodation, to accelerate our FUM and FRE growth. Concurrently, we continue to secure more third-party management contracts and franchises to increase Ascott’s property fee income,” he added.
Ascott has established a strong presence in France and Vietnam, having been operating in these countries for more than 35 years and over 25 years respectively. In Vietnam, Somerset Metropolitan West Hanoi will increase Ascott’s portfolio to over 7,600 units across 31 properties in 10 cities.
“We will continue to build on our fund’s growth momentum by seeking suitable investment opportunities in long-stay lodging assets in key gateway cities in Asia Pacific and Europe to deliver long-term value for our partners,” said Mak Hoe Kit, Managing Director, Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund and Head, Business Development.
Vietnam is one of the core markets of Capitaland. In 2018, the real estate giant set up its second commercial fund in the country, CapitaLand Vietnam Commercial Value-Added Fund (CVCVF), which closed at $130 million (approximately S$171 million).
With a fund life span of eight years, CapitaLand will hold a 50% stake in CVCVF with the balance interest held by MEA Commercial Holdings Pte. Ltd. CVCVF will focus on Grade A commercial properties in Vietnam.