GIC, APG buy "substantial stake" in The Student Hotel valuing firm at over $2b

Photo: Reuters

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and Dutch pension fund APG Asset Management announced that they will acquire “a substantial stake” in The Student Hotel (TSH) from the European asset manager Aermont Capital.

The transaction values TSH, including its assets currently under development, at €2.1 billion ($2.21 billion).

Following the deal, APG and founder Charlie MacGregor, who opened the first The Student Hotel in 2012, will increase their current stake in the hybrid hospitality services provider.

Aermont Capital entered into the business in 2014, while APG first invested in TSH a year later. GIC is a new investor.

TSH provides a hybrid hospitality model, combining student accommodation, hotel rooms, co-working and meeting spaces, bars and restaurants. TSH is well-positioned towards Millennial and Gen-Z audiences, with its focus on community building through its well-designed, mixed-use facilities and blended spaces, offering co-working and meeting spaces that also attract local startups, corporates, and neighbourhood communities.

With APG and GIC’s commitments, TSH will be able to expand into key European cities and grow its presence to 50 hotels from the current 25, which includes three TSH hotels that are opening in 2022 in Madrid, Barcelona, and Toulouse.

“The Student Hotel’s hybrid hospitality model is unique. Anchored by purpose-built student accommodation that appeals to the student demographic, yet still catering to both business and leisure uses, this flexibility enables TSH to capture opportunities as demand patterns fluctuate throughout the year. We look forward to partnering with TSH and APG to generate more value-add over the long term,” said Tracy Stroh, Region Head of Europe, Real Estate, GIC.

“Together with GIC, Charlie McGregor and the rest of the TSH team we are looking forward to further expanding TSH’s unique hybrid and exciting concept across Europe. We are convinced that TSH will provide an attractive long-term, stable investment return for our pension fund client ABP, and its participants,” said Robert-Jan Foortse, Head of European Property Investments at APG.

GIC had co-anchored a €100 million ($106 million) Series C funding in Zolar, a Berlin-based, venture-backed digital solar platform in May this year.

GIC joins investment firm Energy Impact Partners as co-lead in the funding round that also saw the participation of existing investors including Inven Capital, Heartcore Capital, Statkraft Ventures, and Pirate Impact Capital.

Earlier, GIC had joined a $1 billion investment in UK fintech Checkout.com. Several new and existing investors including Altimeter, Dragoneer, Franklin Templeton, the Qatar Investment Authority, Tiger Global, the Oxford Endowment Fund, and a “large West Coast mutual fund management firm” participated in the round.

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