Trio team up for €1 billion Paris venture

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 23 June 2020


France: Ivanhoé Cambridge and Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors alongside Greystar Real Estate Partners have launched a new venture focused on funding purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) and young professional accommodation in the Greater Paris Region.

This newly created platform will have an investment capacity of €1 billion. Ivanhoé Cambridge is the majority shareholder. It will be joined on the board by Bouwinvest and Greystar, which will also operationally manage the venture. The objective is to deploy funds to target new acquisitions, including ground-up developments and projects already under construction. The venture has already identified a significant pipeline of opportunities in the Paris Region and is targeting a number of initial acquisitions over the coming months.

The venture will focus on delivering "best-in-class student and young professional accommodation, including exceptional amenities and services, with a preference for locations with exposure to the extensive Greater Paris public transport projects". This focus is aligned with the shareholders' strategy in other major European cities, focusing on hubs with stable employment and long-term persistent rental housing demand, such as London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Vienna.

Karim Habra, head of Europe and Asia-Pacific at Ivanhoé Cambridge, said: “Greater Paris and co-living markets for student and young professionals are major growth areas for our European strategy. At the same time, the Covid-19 crisis is accelerating trends towards more premium flexible products and services in key locations. We believe this is the right time as the ’alternative’ housing market is well-positioned with these trends and Paris is highly attractive given its higher-education institutions, while there is a significant growing demand for student housing. We are delighted to do this with Bouwinvest as well as with Greystar, one of our major strategic partners across the world.”

Robert Koot, director of European investments at Bouwinvest, said: “The fundamentals of the student and young professional market are very robust. Demand for high quality – but affordable – housing from student populations in metropolitan areas around the world remains strong. We have already invested in this segment in the Netherlands and Australia and via this new joint venture are now broadening our exposure and diversifying our allocation to France. This investment contributes to Bouwinvest’s objective of achieving a long term solid return in a sustainable and responsible manner. Ivanhoé Cambridge and Greystar are well-known to us and are excellent partners.”

Hideki Kurata, managing director for France at Greystar, said: “We have been active in France for close to two years and have built a successful portfolio of owned and managed assets across the country. Our new venture with Ivanhoé Cambridge and Bouwinvest will give us significant firepower to deliver on our plans to utilise our expertise in investing, developing and operating high-quality student accommodation assets across the world to build a highly amenitised portfolio from the ground up in an underserved global city with strong market fundamentals. Paris is home to a number of world-class employers and higher education institutions and famously has a vibrant culture that attracts both domestic and international students to study. Coupled with the city’s ambitious public transport programme, which will further improve connections across Paris, there is no better time to get this venture off the ground.”



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