Spain’s biggest student housing provider has sold all of its real estate assets to AXA Investment Managers–Real Assets and an unnamed Dutch institutional investor, while selling its operations to Greystar.

The sale by Resa of 37 student halls marks AXA IM-RA’s entry into the European student accommodation market.

The French fund manager said it will take an equal share in what is Spain’s largest student housing portfolio alongside the Dutch investor.

Greystar, a US-headquartered global residential specialist, will act as property and development manager for the joint venture, and will own a smaller share of the portfolio.

AXA IM–RA said it was the biggest-ever student-housing acquisition on the Iberian Peninsula.

The portfolio represents around 10% of Spain’s purpose-built student housing provision. It includes 9,309 student beds across 33 operational assets and four development projects in 19 cities.

Laurent Lavergne, head of separate accounts at AXA IM–RA, said: “This transaction provides us with a rare opportunity to acquire, on behalf of our clients, a large-scale and extremely high quality portfolio of student accommodation, which is also managed by Spain’s leading halls of residence operator.”

AXA IM–RA and its partners intend to expand the portfolio by investing in more facilities and developments.

Lavergne said student accommodation was a particularly interesting asset class because it produces extremely visible income streams backed by operational businesses and independent to real estate market cycles.

“The Spanish student accommodation market is also both highly fragmented and undersupplied and therefore presents us with an opportunity to grow our portfolio by investing further in our Resa joint venture,” he said.

In July, AXA IM–RA bought a majority stake in the 1,732-bed student housing facility University Center Chicago.