AXA Group joins Allianz to back Scape Australia student housing fund

Allianz Real Estate has been confirmed as a cornerstone investor, committing A$700m (€435m) together with AXA Group, in the core Australian student accommodation fund managed by Scape Australia.

As reported by IPE Real Assets on Friday, Allianz Real Estate will cornerstone the fund with an initial commitment of 30% of the equity (A$450m), on behalf of several Allianz companies.

In a joint statement, the companies said Paris-based AXA, a first-time investor in Scape Australia, is initially committing A$250m to Scape Australia’s closed-end core programme.

The fund is expected to raise A$1.5bn in equity and build up a portfolio worth A$4bn.

Coinciding with the announcement of its cornerstone investors, Scape Australia has been selected as the buyer of Atira Student Housing from Goldman Sachs and Blue Sky. The purchase is being undertaken on behalf of the new core fund and Scape Joint Venture 2 (JV2).

Allianz Real Estate is also the anchor investor in Scape JV2, along with Bouwinvest, WPI, a Middle-Eastern sovereign wealth fund and Scape Australia founders Stephen Gaitanos and Craig Carracher.

The purchase price was not disclosed, but a source last week told IPE Real Assets that the acquisition would cost around A$675m.

The core fund will acquire a portfolio of six Atira student accommodation buildings located in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, offering 3,510 beds.

Scape JV2 will acquire three Atira development assets located in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with capacity for the creation of approximately 1,500 student accommodation beds.

Rushabh Desai, Asia-Pacific CEO of Allianz Real Estate, said: “This core programme is a natural extension of our successful partnership with Scape on the development side.

”The timing of the venture positions us well to secure attractive opportunities currently on the market.”

Apart from the fund’s initial investment in the Atira assets, Geoff Lovell, director of Scape’s core programme, said the Scape Australia JV 1 Fund would, in coming months, sell four completed projects to the core programme.

The newly-launched vehicle is actively pursuing other portfolios currently for sale.

IPE Real Assets understands that one of the portfolios is Urbanest, said to be valued “north of A$2bn”.

Stephen Gaitanos, co-founder and CEO of Scape Australia, said Scape Australia had already deployed A$1.2bn in its first two joint ventures across 18 developments over the last 4 years, and now had 4 assets operating in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Related images

  • Scape student accommodation in Brisbane

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