Heitman seals Norwegian student housing platform buy

US-based global real estate investment management firm Heitman has announced the acquisition of Bo Coliving, a Norwegian student housing platform with over 1,400 beds across 52 properties in 13 cities, on behalf of an affiliate of the firm.

As a part of the transaction, Heitman acquired the majority of the shares in the platform, which specializes in owning and operating properties optimalized for coliving and tailored for students. Johan Rasting will stay on as CEO together with the current management team.

Since 2020, Bo Coliving has grown to more than 1,400 beds across 52 properties in 13 cities across Norway and is working to double its room count within the next 12 months. The long-term plan is to reach 10,000 rooms by 2026.

‘We have seen ongoing resilience in the student accommodation sector over the past few years,’ said Caleb Mercer, Heitman’s managing director of European Real Estate Investment. ‘Demand for student housing remains intact and we believe will accelerate. It is our view that the sector continues to benefit from excess student demand, strong investor interest and high barriers to entry.

The acquisition will allow the firm to create a sizeable platform in a highly fragmented and undersupplied market, he added. ‘We look forward to using our knowledge and experience gained over 20 years of investing in the sector globally to develop the private student housing market in Norway. Bo Coliving represents an attractive platform: the organisation, the properties and the business model give a solid foundation for further growth.’

‘We see merit in investing through the cycle and expanding our operations during periods where liquidity needs are elevated. More to come as we continue to grow our European platform,’ said Tony Smedley, Heitman’s managing director and head of European Private Equity.  

‘The need for good-quality, purpose-built student accommodation in the country remains very high, and we look forward to further growing Bo Coliving to help meet that demand as well as investing into the existing properties to upgrade them,’ said Johan Rasting, CEO of Bo Coliving. ‘Since day one our ambition has been to become the preferred provider of coliving spaces in Norway. I feel that Heitman shares this ambition with us.’

Heitman has been an investor in the global student housing sector since 2003. As of September 30, 2022, Heitman has acquired $3 bn of student housing assets on behalf of its clients.    


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