Mapletree raises $535m for US, UK student housing

The real estate arm of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund entered the student housing space last year.

Mapletree Investments has closed its first student housing-focused private trust on $535 million, the real estate arm of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings said Tuesday.
Mapletree Global Student Accommodation Private Trust, which is the first of its kind in Singapore, holds about $1.3 billion in student housing assets in the US and the UK. The firm raised about £195 million ($243 million; €225 million) in equity for its 5,910-bed UK portfolio and $291 million for the 8,363-bed US portfolio.
Mapletree is retaining a 35 percent stake in the trust, which has a five-year lifespan with a one-year extension. Other investors, whose equity stakes were not disclosed, include the Great Eastern Life Assurance Company, DBS Bank and UBS, which are investing in the trust on behalf of their high-net-worth clients.
“Opting for the private track also allowed us to bring the product to market quickly, and is more cost effective to set up and operate on an ongoing basis, without the lengthy process to launch an IPO and the increasing compliance costs to maintain a REIT,” Mapletree's chief executive Hiew Yoon Khong said in a statement. “Investors will be able to reap strong returns from an asset class proven to be relatively anti-cyclical in nature, with the pursuit of higher education growing worldwide even during economic downturns.”
Mapletree entered the UK student housing market first, buying 25 properties in the UK for £417 million in March 2016, PERE previously reported. In November, the firm moved into the US with the purchase of a portfolio of 6,000 beds across six states for an undisclosed price from the Boca Raton, Florida-based alternative investment manager Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors.
Mapletree has four listed REITs and five Asia-focused private equity real estate funds, according to Tuesday's statement. It managed S$38.6 billion ($26.6 billion; €25.2 billion) as of December 31.