Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC and The Scion Group acquire three U.S. student housing portfolios for US$1.6 billion

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), GIC and The Scion Group LLC (Scion) announced today that their student housing joint venture entity, Scion Student Communities LP (together with its subsidiaries, “the Joint Venture”), has acquired three U.S. student housing portfolios for approximately US$1.6 billion. These portfolios comprise:

  • US$385 million acquisition of six Class-A properties located primarily in the southern U.S.;
  • US$640 million acquisition of 11 Class-A properties in premier university markets across the U.S.; and
  • US$550 million in recapitalizations of 12 legacy Scion-owned and operated communities situated in leading campus markets across the U.S.

Since its inception in January 2016, the Joint Venture has completed US$2.9 billion of investments, including the previously announced US$1.3 billion acquisition of University House Communities Group and its 19 properties in June 2016. The Joint Venture has deployed over US$1 billion in equity capital. CPPIB and GIC each own a 45% interest in the three portfolios and Scion owns the remaining 10%.

“The U.S. student housing sector is an attractive investment opportunity, driven by secular strength in enrollment growth and favourable supply dynamics,” said Hilary Spann, Managing Director, Head of U.S. Real Estate Investments, CPPIB. “Achieving scale in this sector is an important global investment objective for CPPIB, and we are pleased to further this goal in the United States with our partners at GIC and Scion.

The Joint Venture’s well-diversified national portfolio now includes 48 student housing communities in 36 top-tier university markets, comprising 32,192 beds. The average age of the properties is less than five years and over 75% of the assets are located within one mile of their respective campuses.

Adam Gallistel, Regional Head of Americas, GIC Real Estate, said, “These high-quality, revenue-generating assets are good additions to our global student housing portfolio. We remain confident in this sector’s long-term fundamentals and are pleased to continue our strong partnership with Scion and CPPIB.”

The Joint Venture will pursue additional opportunities to acquire high-quality student housing assets primarily in Tier 1 university markets in the U.S.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with two of the world’s premier real estate investors in the ongoing consolidation of the student housing sector,” said Robert Bronstein, Scion’s President. “We especially appreciate the confidence and support of GIC and CPPIB implicit in the volume of investment activity completed by the Joint Venture during its first year of operation as well as the significant commitment of additional growth capital to the partnership. We look forward to the Joint Venture’s continued growth and success.”

Source: GIC

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