Mapletree Investments, a Singapore-based property developer and manager, has selected advisers for a potential initial public offering of a student housing real estate investment trust that could raise about US$1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company, which is owned by Temasek Holdings, is working with DBS Group Holdings, HSBC Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and UBS Group on the planned share sale in Singapore, the people said. An IPO could take place as soon as in the second half of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
Still, the volatility in markets roiled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising interest rates could pose challenges to businesses seeking listings in the coming months. Deliberations are ongoing and details such as the size of the offering and timeline could still change, or Mapletree could decide against proceeding with the plan, the people said.
A successful IPO would make it Singapore’s biggest REIT listing since 2013, when another of Mapletree’s trusts raised US$1.4 billion, Bloomberg data show. It could also help boost flagging first-time share sales in a market that saw just eight new issuances last year totalling US$1.1 billion. The brewery unit of Thai Beverage is set to revive a stalled IPO in the city-state, and is looking to raise about $2 billion, Bloomberg News reported last month.
As a capital manager, Mapletree will continue to formulate appropriate fund products for investors for various asset classes, including student housing, a representative said in response to a query. The company also said it will continue to seek opportunities to grow this business globally, including using its balance sheet, and through private funds or REITs.
HSBC, OCBC and UBS declined to comment, while DBS didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mapletree has four Singapore-listed REITs and five private equity real estate funds, with assets under management totaling $66.3 billion as of March last year, according to its latest available annual report. Its portfolio spans residential and industrial assets, data centers, retail space and lodging in 13 markets across Asia, Europe and the U.S.
The company owns 51 student accommodation facilities with over 22,000 beds located across 34 cities in the UK, the US and Canada worth about $3.7 billion, its annual report shows. The REIT will be backed by student housing assets in the UK and US, the people said.
Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua of The Edge Singapore