Global Student Accommodation announces multibillion dollar US JV

Global Student Accommodation announces multibillion dollar US joint venture with Morgan Stanley’s real estate investing arm.

Aspen Charlotte Apartments in North Carolina - Global Student Accommodation | PBSA News
Aspen Charlotte Apartments in North Carolina. Image credit: Global Student Accommodation.

Global Student Accommodation (GSA) announces a joint venture (JV) with a fund advised by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI), the global private real estate investment arm of Morgan Stanley Investment Management. MSREI’s commitment represents a major endorsement of the strength, resilience and stability of student housing in the higher education sector.

This JV is a significant building block for both businesses in the US – and will support GSA’s growth strategy as it accelerates further. TD Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor to GSA, and legal and tax advice was provided by Greenberg Traurig and Goodwin Procter.

“After careful study of the student housing market, we looked for a scalable opportunity and a best-in-class partner for our entry point – this venture achieves both. We believe that the combination of MSREI’s broad real estate investing platform and GSA’s thoughtful, innovative approach to the sector will allow us to deliver attractive and differentiated exposure to our investors.”

John Klopp, Global Head of Real Assets, Morgan Stanley Investment Management

To start, GSA brings $1.6bn of initial seed assets to the JV, with close to 15,000 beds across 21 states and 29 cities. Properties include GSA’s existing US portfolio acquired in 2020, along with the recently closed acquisition of more than 8,100 beds across prime locations from the East to West coast. Together, nearly two-thirds of the portfolio are at prestigious Power-Five schools.

Representing a powerful combination of GSA’s unparalleled experience, market access, intelligence and international reach alongside the breadth and depth of MSREI’s exceptionally talented investment team and long standing global franchise, the partnership is testament to GSA’s expertise and ability to deliver scale as a best-in-class partner specialising in all aspects of student housing with a uniquely integrated operational offering.

This partnership is founded on a strategic vision to become a leader in US student housing – and the new JV marks the beginning of a long-term relationship that will pursue strategic growth across the full spectrum of the student housing industry.

Under the partnership, Yugo, GSA’s global brand and operating platform will drive greater customer access to Generation Z, data, and performance through its differentiated student-led and sustainable approach. Yugo provides living experiences to ensure students’ intellectual, personal, and professional growth is supported throughout their higher educational journey.

“This is a significant opportunity for both GSA and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing to together make a meaningful impact in the market. Since entering the US market, GSA has been deliberate in executing its growth strategy, proven by our most recent acquisition, enabling us to seed this partnership with a sizable and highly attractive portfolio.

“With an experienced investment partner, who we share great cultural alignment, we are united in a desire to be a true leader in US student housing for many years to come. Having a permanent JV partner of MSREI’s calibre provides the opportunity for sustainable growth in the US market as well as the ability to replicate what we have successfully achieved in other global markets.

“The US is the largest student housing market in the world and will continue to be underpinned by demand for higher education, both domestically and internationally. Through this opportunity, we have the ability to increase our market share, deliver sustainable returns and, importantly, through Yugo, support our students by providing safe living spaces and unique experiences.”

Alec Burger, Chair, GSA