Mapletree buys world’s biggest corporate housing firm

The real estate arm of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek has invested with the company since 2014.

Mapletree Investments has acquired a corporate lodging company with which it began investing in 2014, according to a Thursday announcement.

The real estate arm of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek bought Los Angeles-based Oakwood Worldwide. Spokespeople for both firms declined to disclose the acquisition price. Founded in 1969, Oakwood owns properties around the world and contracts with multifamily owners to rent units. The company is the world’s biggest corporate housing provider, according to its statement.

Mapletree began partnering with Oakwood in 2004 in a joint venture to acquire and develop up to $4 billion of corporate and serviced apartments around the world, PERE previously reported. As part of the initial deal, Mapletree acquired a 49 percent stake in Oakwood Asia Pacific, Oakwood’s business in Asia, for an undisclosed amount, with options to acquire additional interests in Oakwood’s businesses at a later stage. Mapletree, which managed S$38.6 billion ($26.6 billion, €25.2 billion) as of December 31, said the latest deal “is part of its long-term strategy to strengthen its corporate housing and serviced apartment business.”

Last year, Oakwood’s senior leadership team began evaluating options for the firm’s future, Pam Krebs, a spokeswoman for the firm, told PERE.

“As learned through the partnership, Mapletree’s interests and objectives align well with Oakwood’s business model and strategic growth plans,” Krebs said. “Through the relationship, Mapletree has demonstrated a disciplined investment approach and great respect for the strength and legacy of the Oakwood brand and organization.”

The Mapletree-owned company will now be led by Christopher Ahearn, the firm’s senior vice president of sales and marketing from 2005 to 2010. He most recently worked as a senior advisor for TPG Capital, the San Francisco-based investment manager. Howard Ruby, Oakwood’s founder and former chairman, is now Oakwood’s chairman emeritus, a non-executive role.

“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,” Hiew Yoon Khong, Mapletree’s chief executive, said in Thursday’s statement. “We will be looking at markets across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific, which are also regions where Oakwood is a well-regarded brand.”

Mapletree owns nine serviced apartment assets in the US and Australia managed by Oakwood as part of the 2014 agreement. The firm is also developing three properties in Japan, Vietnam and the US, which will be managed by Oakwood upon completion.

Temasek, Mapletree’s parent, managed S$242 billion as of March 31, according to its most recent investment report.