HWL Ebsworth has acted for AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) on the proposed acquisition by the Scape Core Fund (SCF) to acquire the portfolio of student accommodation housing run by Urbanest for approximately $2 billion. SCF is a joint venture between AXA IM, Allianz Real Estate and APG Asset Management, and the three investors will inject approximately $1.5 billion in equity commitments into the SCF by the time that the Urbanest acquisition completes early next year.
The Urbanest deal is Australia’s biggest single property sale deal for 2019.
The 14 Urbanest purpose-built student accommodation properties span Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. The signing of the Urbanest deal comes just months after the SCF completed on the acquisition of the Atira portfolio of 6 purpose-built student accommodation properties in Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane for approximately A$680 million, with more development assets in the pipeline for the SCF.
Scape is acting as investment manager for the SCF. Upon completion of the Urbanest acquisition early next year, it is expected that the SCF will become Australia’s largest purpose-built student accommodation provider with 2,500 student rooms open and more than 8,000 rooms in development.
The HWL Ebsworth corporate and commercial team was led by Partner James Lonie and Special Counsel Natalya Hards, with assistance from Associate Wai Lam Au. The HWL Ebsworth corporate and commercial team was assisted by the HWLE tax team which was led by Partner Nima Sedaghat and Senior Associate Alina Sedmak.
AXA IM is the property arm of the broader AXA group, a French multinational insurance firm that engages in global insurance, investment management and other financial services. AXA IM has around AUD$1,185 billion worth of assets under management.
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The firm comprises 1,373 staff including 265 Partners, 741 other legal staff and 367 support staff across offices in nine locations – Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Hobart, Norwest (North West Sydney), Perth and Sydney.
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