Dutch pension fund manager APG and Singapore’s sovereign wealth group GIC have announced that they will take a “substantial stake” in Amsterdam-based The Student Hotel (TSH), a student accommodation and hotel group. This deal values TSH, including assets currently under development, at €2.1B.
This transaction will see APG and TSH founder Charlie MacGregor increase their current stake in TSH. APG first invested in TSH in 2015. MacGregor and Aermont Capital entered into business in 2014 after MacGregor opened the first TSH in 2012. GIC now joins as a new investor.
Vincent Rouget, Partner at Aermont Capital, says, “This great journey which started with one promising project in Amsterdam turned into an unrivalled portfolio of 25 prime assets and projects across 8 countries in Europe. Charlie’s vision of building a hybrid hospitality operating model has positioned The Student Hotel at the forefront of both hospitality and real estate trends, and TSH’s future is bright under its new shareholders’ stewardship.”
What The Student Hotel offers
Founded in 2012 by Charlie MacGregor, The Student Hotel concept started with a simple observation: that students deserve better. From design-savvy travellers to next-gen entrepreneurs, TSH welcomes thousands of guests annually to its expanding portfolio of urban campus-style properties across Europe.
Built or housed in historic converted buildings, TSH’s hospitality concept provides blended spaces to learn, stay, work and play for a night, a week, a month, or a year.
The company says, “TSH is on a journey to remain as responsible and impactful as possible – both in how we build our hotels and engage with our communities. Our properties are developed and managed in accordance with international ESG standards, and through our programming, we aim to inspire and activate our communities to contribute to a fairer and greener world.”
TSH properties offer a mixed-use campus with accommodation, bars, restaurants, gyms, retail shops, meeting and event spaces, and high-profile co-working spaces. The company has over 11,000 rooms in Europe, open and under development.
With over 650 employees, TSH is currently operational in 15 European locations: two hotels each in Amsterdam and in Barcelona, and one each in Berlin, The Hague, Delft, Vienna, Groningen, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Paris, Florence, and Bologna.
The company’s total locations amount to 25 hotels, with 15 open, three opening this year and seven more by 2025.
TSH claims that its hybrid hospitality model has proven highly successful. During the pandemic, it was able to increase room allocation towards students when travel was dramatically reduced, thereby achieving strong occupancy rates and remaining cash-positive.
And now, TSH says it looks to gain from a successful summer thanks to the hotel and tourism markets’ recovery, as its student reservations for the academic year of 22/23 are already at record highs.
The company says, “TSH is well-positioned towards Millennial and Gen-Z audiences, with its focus on community building through its mixed-use facilities and blended spaces, offering co-working and meeting spaces that also attract local startups, corporates and neighbourhood communities.” Since TSH works with local governments to improve the quality of hospitality services in order to attract talent to cities, the relationship with the local communities is particularly crucial.
TSH says it will invest the funds in technology to implement the first space/time booking platform across its hotels. This means users will be able to book any space in TSH buildings for a defined period of time – from meeting rooms and co-working desks to gym and pool access and ping pong tables.
With APG and GIC’s commitments, TSH will also accelerate into key European cities and grow its presence to 50 hotels from 25 hotels under ownership today, of which 15 are currently operational and 3 are opening in 2022, in Madrid, Barcelona and Toulouse.
Founder Charlie Macgregor adds, “We have bold plans and the additional committed capital will allow us to be even more ambitious. With our hybrid hospitality model, we have become a game-changer for the hospitality industry and have a major growth platform to welcome more guests to our hotels.”