Dutch pension fund asset manager PGGM is buying a Spanish student housing platform owned by AXA IM Alts, CBRE Investment Management and Greystar.

PGGM Infrastructure Fund, an open-ended core infrastructure fund managed by PGGM’s infrastructure investment arm, has agreed to buy Residencias de Estudiantes en España (RESA) for an undislcosed sum.

RESA holds 11,200 beds in 21 key student cities, including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. The partnership comprising AXA IM Alts, CBRE IM and Greystar has owned RESA since 2017.

The acquisition of RESA further strengthens PGGM’s positioning within the social infrastructure sector, the manager said.

PGGM Infrastructure Fund has a track record in the student accommodation sector. It bought a 60% stake in UK student housing provider UPP in 2012.

Stuart Bousfield, an investment director at PGGM Infrastructure: “RESA is Spain’s leading student accommodation portfolio, with more than 30 years of track record, an excellent management team in place and considerable growth potential in one of Europe’s most undersupplied student housing markets.

“It will provide stable and inflation-linked returns to our clients like pension fund PFZW.”

Natasha Mol-Knechtel, the head of PPP and social infrastructure investments at PGGM, said: “Affordable and high-quality student accommodation is essential for a functioning education and social system and with the acquisition of RESA we are advancing our sustainable development agenda.”

Juan Manuel Acosta, managing director – Spain, Greystar, said: “We entered the Spanish residential real estate market in 2017 with the acquisition of RESA. Alongside our partners, we have added significant value and grown the portfolio to the multi-award-winning sustainable portfolio it is today.”

Line Verroken, investment director at CBRE IM, said: ”Since our entry into the Spanish student housing sector in 2017, we have seen a tremendous consolidation and growth opportunity as well as a strong institutionalisation of the sector.

“We are proud to have supported the growth of RESA into a market-leading platform and are very thankful for the dedication and hard work of Greystar and the RESA employees.”

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