The heart of the industry

George Sell By George Sell
Uploaded 4 weeks ago

Mapletree's acquisition of Oakwood Worldwide further strengthens Singapore's position as the very heart of the global serviced apartment sector.

Oakwood, although retaining its Los Angeles HQ, now joins Ascott and Frasers as a major player based in Singapore. Mapletree has been an investor in Oakwood since April 2014, when it took a 49 per cent stake in Oakwood Asia Pacific, and acquired several US properties which it engaged Oakwood to operate. It obviously liked what it saw, and has now taken full ownership of the company.

The Asian market is still witnessing incredible growth, and the three Singapore giants have a phenomenal pipeline between them, with China the main focus, but healthy demand in India, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Expect to see a speeding up of Oakwood's growth plans with further property acquisitions and management agreements likely. It will be interesting to see what plans Mapletree has for Oakwood's agency and corporate housing businesses. The latter will still have the benefit of Oakwood founder Howard Ruby's huge experience - he is staying on in a non-exec role as chairman emeritus, and will act as a consultant to the corporate housing division.

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