Ascott’s private equity fund to acquire lyf-branded co-living property in Sydney

The Ascott’s lyf co-living residence at FunanThe Ascott’s lyf co-living residence at Funan

Capitaland Investment‘s wholly owned lodging business The Ascott Ltd. is acquiring its first lyf-branded co-living property in Sydney, Australia, the company said in a filing to SGX Thursday.

The acquisition will be made via the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund (ASRGF), which is Ascott’s private equity fund with Qatar Investment Authority, the filing said.

“Tapping our strong deal sourcing capabilities and extensive business network, we were able to access this attractive off-market acquisition. lyf Bondi Junction Sydney is a rare purpose-built asset in a highly sought-after location for business and tourism,” Mak Hoe Kit, Ascott’s managing director for lodging private equity funds and head of business development, said in the statement.

The 11-storey 197-unit Sydney property, which will be named lyf Bondi Junction Sydney, will have 197 units, with opening slated for 2024, Ascott said. The property will target lodging for transient professionals as well as business and leisure travelers, the filing said.

The deal is ASRGF’s third so far this year, after the acquisition of Somerset Hangzhou Bay Ningbo and Citadines Canal Amsterdam in March, the filing said. So far, the fund has invested in 12 properties for close to US$500 million, the filing said, noting ASRGF has also divested its first property, with the return outperforming expectations. The 11 remaining properties have around 2,200 units, with five operational properties, and other projects under development, the filing said.

The US$600 million fund was set up in 2015, via a 50:50 joint venture with Qatar Investment Authority, Ascott said.

In addition, Ascott opened its first Australian lyf property, the 105-unit lyf Collingwood Melbourne, the filing said.

“With the short supply of professionally-managed co-living properties in Australia, Ascott is set to raise the bar for the co-living sector as we expand the lyf brand in the country. We continue to see attractive opportunities to grow our lyf brand through our private funds and Ascott Residence Trust as well as via management contracts,” Kevin Goh, CapitaLand Investment’s CEO for lodging, said in the statement.