Mapletree buys Oakwood to speed up global expansion

Mapletree buys Oakwood to speed up global expansion
Oakwood Portland Pearl District in Portland in the US. Oakwood, the world's largest provider of corporate housing and serviced apartments, currently manages nine Mapletree assets in the US and Australia.
PHOTO: Mapletree Investments

Singapore's Mapletree Investments has bought partner Oakwood Worldwide, the world's largest provider of corporate housing and serviced apartments.

The acquisition of US-based Oakwood for an undisclosed sum is in line with Mapletree's strategy to expand outside of Asia.

Mapletree first collaborated with Oakwood in 2014, when the two companies signed a $5 billion joint venture deal to open more than 100 new properties around the world in five years.

Mapletree, a unit of Temasek Holdings, also acquired a 49 per cent stake in Oakwood's Asia-Pacific operating arm, Oakwood Asia Pacific, in the same deal.

It announced the acquisition yesterday, but declined to disclose the value of the deal.

Oakwood has a presence in more than 95 countries, and serves more than 80 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies.

Mapletree also said it is developing three serviced apartments in Japan and Vietnam, as well as another property in the United States.

The properties will be managed by Oakwood Worldwide when they are completed.

Oakwood currently manages nine Mapletree corporate housing and serviced apartment assets in the US and Australia.

"Our full ownership of Oakwood will allow us to enhance efficiencies and the growth momentum of our corporate housing and serviced apartment business," said Mr Hiew Yoon Khong, Mapletree's group chief executive officer.

He added that Mapletree intends to step up its acquisition and development of corporate housing and serviced apartment assets, which will add to its earnings.

"We will be looking at markets across the US, Europe and the Asia- Pacific, which are also regions where Oakwood is a well-regarded brand."

The company also announced yesterday the appointment of Mr Christopher Ahearn as Oakwood's chief executive officer.

Mr Ahearn had been Oakwood's senior vice-president of sales and marketing between 2005 and 2010.

Oakwood's founder and chairman, Mr Howard Ruby, will take on the non-executive role of chairman emeritus at Oakwood, where he will advise Oakwood's corporate housing business.

Mapletree Investments owns and manages $38.6 billion worth of properties in various segments, including office, retail and student housing properties, as at Dec 31.

One recent major acquisition was a portfolio of seven student accommodation assets in the US for an undisclosed sum in November last year.

This article was first published on February 17, 2017.
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