Catella launches second pan-European student fund, buys in Mannheim

Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM) has launched Catella European student housing fund II (CESHF II), with approximately €100 mln in capital commitments from institutional investors at a first close. 

The fund is expected to invest up to €250 mln across European markets in the next two years. Its first acquisition is an apartment building in the German city of Mannheim for about €38 mln. CESHF II’s second close is planned for the first quarter of 2020.

'Education is a global growth market and the market for student housing in Europe is extremely strong,' said Michael Keune, Managing Director, CRIM, said: The supply of purpose-built student housing is failing to keep pace with this demand, so young people still find it as hard to find a place to live in accommodation catering specifically to their needs as they did 10 years ago.'

CRIM’s first European student housing fund, launched in 2013, was the first pan-European student accommodation investment vehicle. Since inception, it has delivered an average internal rate of return (IRR) of 6.9% per annum.

Catella started investing in student housing in 2010 and has become the largest pan-European platform in this rapidly expanding sector. It now manages 40 properties with over 9,000 apartments in 30 locations across Europe, with total assets under management valued at approximately €900 mln.

Mannheim deal
CESHF II’s first acquisition in Mannheim, in the southwest German state of Baden-Württemberg, is a recently completed property of 208 apartments for up to 313 students and is located in the city’s Franklin Areal district, a former US army base.

The seller is the developer P+B Planen + Bauen GmbH & Co. The student apartments are marketed as 'Campo Novo' by Hildebrandt-Immobilien.

Catella’s new pan-European student housing fund is primarily targeting growing university cities in Germany, Austria, France, the Benelux and Spain, but will also consider assets and locations that meet its investment criteria in the UK, Denmark, Portugal and Poland, the firm said. CESHF II is expected to aggregate a broadly diversified portfolio of around 20 properties within the next two years.

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