Mapletree raises equity of US$535 mil for inaugural student accommodation private trust

SINGAPORE (March 21): Mapletree Investments announced Tuesday that it has successfully closed the Mapletree Global Student Accommodation Private Trust (MGSA P-Trust).

About 195 million pounds (S$338 million or RM1.07 billion) of equity was raised for its 5,910-bed UK portfolio while US$291 million (S$407 million or RM1.29 billion) was raised for its 8,363-bed US portfolio.

MGSA P-Trust holds about US$1.3 billion in in student accommodation assets located in the UK and the US – the two largest student accommodation markets in the world.

The first trust of its kind in Singapore, Mapletree says MGSA P-Trust possesses similar distribution principles as a Singapore-listed real estate investment trust (S-REIT).

The Trust is managed by Mapletree’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Mapletree Real Estate Advisors.

Mapletree says it will retain a 35% stake in MGSA P-Trust “to strongly align investor-manager interests”.

Major participating investors include The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company, as well as DBS Bank and UBS, who are investing in MGSA P-Trust on behalf of their high net worth clients.

Mapletree says the target yield for MGSA P-Trust is in line with the four Mapletree-sponsored S-REITs, namely Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT), Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT), Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT), and Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust (MGCCT).

Distributions will be paid on a semi-annual basis in pounds for the UK assets and in US dollars for the US assets.

“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,” says Hiew Yoon Khong, Mapletree’s Group Chief Executive Officer.

“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,” Hiew adds. —

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