Ascott acquires two new properties through private equity fund

Sara Kirsch Sara Kirsch Uploaded 21 June 2021

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France/Vietnam: The Ascott Limited has announced its acquisition of two new properties in Paris and Hanoi.

Ascott, which is owned by CapitaLand, has taken on these acquisitions through the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund (ASRGF), which is Ascott’s private equity fund with Qatar Investment Authority for S$210 million. These acquisitions mark Ascott’s seventh and eighth properties with ASRGF and will increase Ascott’s total fund assets under management to approximately S$8 billion.

Kevin Goh, CEO of lodging for CapitaLand, said: “Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund and our sponsored hospitality trust, Ascott Residence Trust are key investment platforms to grow our FUM in a capital efficient manner. Our interests are aligned with both our private and public investors, as we put our own capital to work alongside theirs, bringing the strengths of our global reach and operating expertise to deliver the required investment returns. We are therefore seeing strong growth momentum from fee-related earnings (FRE) generated through the management of our private fund and the listed hospitality trust as well as recurring fees earned from asset management and property management.”

The properties will both be purchased on a turnkey basis and are set to open in 2024.

The first property, based in Paris, will be Ascott’s first coliving lyf-branded property in Europe. This acquisition will mark Ascott’s 16th lyf property, with the other 15 being located in the Asia Pacific. This new property is a freehold asset that will be transformed into the livelyfhere Gambetta Paris.

The livelyfhere Gambetta Paris will contain 139 units, as well as a social kitchen, coworking spaces, a social gym, a laundromat, and a bar and dining space.

The building is located in the 20th arrondissement, which includes several dining, shopping, and gallery options. The property is about a five-minute walk from the Gambetta metro station, which can allow a guest to reach many Paris attractions in 30 minutes or less. The Bagnolet district, which is set to be renovated to a lifestyle district to attract startups, is only a ten-minute drive away.

The property is expected to attract both international and domestic business travellers, as well as potentially attracting students from nearby New Sorbonne University.

The second property, located in Hanoi, Vietnam, is the Somerset Metropolitan West Hanoi, which is part of a complex that includes retail and office components.

The property contains 364 units, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments. The building also offers guests a gym, meeting spaces, a breakfast lounge, and a children’s indoor play area.

The building is located in Hanoi’s new Central Business District, which is in close proximity to many government buildings, as well as corporate offices. The hotel is also a ten-minute drive from the Vietnam National Convention Centre and within walking distance of Le Duc Tho station, whose metro line can take guests to the old Central Business District.

This property is expected to attract expatriates, MICE guests, and those travelling for leisure.

The new properties will mark Ascott’s 34th property in France and its 31st property in Vietnam.

Goh said: “Our acquisition of these two prime properties in France and Vietnam is in line with Ascott’s ambition to expand our global lodging business. With a presence in over 190 cities across over 30 countries, the scale of our operations worldwide gives Ascott favourable access to proprietary deal flows. We are looking to work with like-minded capital partners to set up new funds to expand in resilient asset classes, such as coliving and student accommodation, to accelerate our FUM and FRE growth. Concurrently, we continue to secure more third-party management contracts and franchises to increase Ascott’s property fee income.”

 

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