Ascott and QIA JV buys Islington property

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 28 April 2016


UK: Ascott has added a third property through its joint fund with Qatar Investment Authority.

Ascott will invest £52 million in the 108-unit north London property which will be renamed Citadines Islington London.

The property is the US$600 million fund's third investment, following its maiden acquisitions of two properties in Paris and Tokyo in November 2015.

The serviced residence will be part of the prime Islington Square, an integrated development developed by Sager Group, in association with Cain Hoy. Islington Square will also comprise 263 new homes and 170,000 square feet of retail and leisure facilities. Citadines Islington London will offer modern living within a beautifully restored Edwardian building - the former Royal Mail's sorting office, where its baroque facade and ornate detailing from more than a century ago will be preserved.

Lee Chee Koon, Ascott's CEO, said: "Ascott's fund with QIA provides the financial boost to support our acquisitions and growth as Ascott gears up to achieve our global target of 80,000 apartment units by 2020. Making our third acquisition within five months is a testament to Ascott's strong alignment of interest with our capital partners. The addition of Citadines Islington London will strengthen Ascott's position as one of the largest international serviced residence operators in Europe, with an asset size of over S$1.5 billion. Our portfolio in the region will increase to more than 5,300 units in 45 properties across France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Georgia and Spain. We aim to double our portfolio in Europe to 10,000 units by 2020."

Alfred Ong, Ascott's managing director for Europe, said: "Scheduled to open in 2019, Citadines Islington London is located within Islington, one of London's prime cultural and culinary hubs, and home to several influential authors and artists over the centuries. These include Charles Dickens, Dame Gracie Fields, George Orwell and Charlie Chaplin. Film-maker Alfred Hitchcock also began his career at a studio at Islington. Today, the area boasts boutiques, award-winning restaurants, world-famous theatres and live music venues. It is very near to the City of London's financial district, and to Silicon Roundabout, the capital's world-leading technology business cluster. The area surrounding Citadines Islington London houses a number of multinational corporations such as Amazon, Barclays, Facebook, Intel as well as Google, which bought a site at King's Cross for its £1 billion headquarters."

In London, Ascott operates close to 1,000 units across seven properties - Ascott Mayfair, The Cavendish, Citadines Barbican, Citadines Holborn-Covent Garden, Citadines South Kensington, Citadines Trafalgar Square and Citadines St Mark's - Islington.


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