PGGM Infrastructure Fund acquires the leading Spanish student accommodation group RESA (Residencias de Estudiantes en España) from Greystar, AXA IM Alts and investors represented by CBRE Investment Management (CBRE IM). The deal follows a structured process involving a large number of potential buyers, and is conditional upon obtaining merger clearance approvals from the Spanish Antitrust Authorities.
PGGM were advised by BBVA (M&A and Debt Advisory), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Legal), KPMG (Financial and Tax DD) and Savills (Technical) on the acquisition. AXA IM Alts, CBRE IM and Greystar were advised by Eastdil Secured (M&A), CBRE (Commercial), Garrigues (Legal and Tax), Deloitte (Financial), Arcadis (Technical) and Longevity.
“RESA is Spain’s leading student accommodation portfolio, with more than 30 years of track-record, an excellent management team in place and considerable growth potential in one of Europe’s most undersupplied student housing markets. It will provide stable and inflation-linked returns to our clients like pension fund PFZW.’’Stuart Bousfield, Investment Director, PGGM Infrastructure
Under the partnership of Greystar, AXA IM Alts and CBRE IM during 2017 to 2022, RESA has grown to become Spain’s largest student accommodation platform. RESA currently has c. 11,200 beds in 21 key student cities – including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. The student accommodation group has expanded from 33 properties to 43 – with 40 operational schemes and three under development which are expected to open in 2024 and 2025.
“Since our entry into the Spanish student housing sector in 2017, we have seen a tremendous consolidation and growth opportunity as well as a strong institutionalisation of the sector. We are proud to have supported the growth of RESA into a market-leading platform and are very thankful for the dedication and hard work of Greystar and the RESA employees.”Line Verroken, Investment Director, CBRE IM
During the academic year, RESA offers students accommodation tailored to the needs of each university campus. This includes full-year accommodation for undergraduate students, monthly accommodation for international mobility students, as well as accommodation designed specifically for professors, researchers, masters and postgraduates. During summer months, RESA’s main activity is complemented by hosting sports and cultural groups, congresses and educational groups.
“We entered the Spanish residential real estate market in 2017 with the acquisition of RESA. Alongside our partners, we have added significant value and grown the portfolio to the multi-award-winning sustainable portfolio it is today. This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the RESA team members who are committed to ensuring residents have the best experience at university – even during the pandemic. Moving forward, we will continue to grow our portfolio of residential and student housing assets in southern Europe via discretionary capital and other ventures.”Juan Manuel Acosta, Managing Director – Spain, Greystar
With an already long track-record in the student accommodation sector, the acquisition of RESA further strengthens PGGM’s position within the social infrastructure. The Infrastructure Fund has a strong partnership with UPP in the UK, spanning over ten years, and has a 60% equity stake in the company.
“Affordable and high-quality student accommodation is essential for a functioning education and social system and with the acquisition of RESA we are advancing our sustainable development agenda.’’Natasha Mol-Knechtel, Head of PPP and Social Infrastructure Investments, PGGM