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Aware Super joins forces with Dutch pension fund

Recently rebranded Aware Super has entered into a partnership with the largest pension provider in the Netherlands, APG, to expand a serviced apartment chain across major European capital cities.

The asset owners announced the agreement with City ID overnight, set to see the aparthotel provider grow its portfolio to a gross asset value in excess of $810 million (€500 million) over the next four years.

City ID is one of the leading aparthotel providers in Amsterdam, and currently has three operational assets with over 250 units. Aparthotels typically provide self-catered apartments as well as hotel facilities.

Following the agreement, APG and Aware Super hold an equal economic interest in City ID, which the Dutch pension fund acquired a stake of in 2019.

The "significant equity commitments" will allow the aparthotel provider to expand across other major European cities over the coming years, and will see it operate as a fully integrated asset heavy owner-operator.

City ID chief executive Alexander Goad said the company was delighted to partner with APG and Aware Super to develop and grow across the region.

"We highly value the good fit with both the APG and Aware Super teams and are much looking forward to jointly continue the City ID journey," he said.

"We share a common long-term view and passion to create a fantastic and distinctive aparthotel platform focused around the experience of the guest."

The company would set its sights on progressing its current project pipeline over the coming months, as its ramps up its search for prime location acquisitions across Europe, City ID said.

"We thank all who made this significant deal possible including the teams of City ID, APG, Aware Super and the advisors," it said.

Aware Super property portfolio manager Alek Misec said City ID and APG have established a unique and innovative operational platform, poised for future growth.

"The aparthotel sector has significant tailwinds over the long term, given evolving consumer preferences with an appetite for quality service, health and safety and converging boundaries between living and working all powered by technological innovation," he said.

"Together with APG we believe we have the right mix of patient capital and vision to support City ID in scaling up the platform over the long term."

Similarly, APG head of European property investments Robert-Jan Foortse believes there to be significant market opportunity to roll out aparthotel offerings across other major European cities.

"We are delighted to partner with Aware Super who share our long-term strategic view for the sector," he said.

"The City ID product has shown remarkable resilience during the ongoing COVID situation and together with Aware Super we look forward to supporting the company in its growth phase."

First State Super rebranded to Aware Super earlier this month, after merging with VicSuper on July 1. The merge fund manages more than $125 billion for more than 1 million members across the country.

APG provides asset management and pension administrative services to one in five families in the Netherlands. It typically provides these services to employees in the sectors of education, government, construction, cleaning, housing associations, energy and utilities, sheltered employment organizations and medical specialists. It manages €524 billion in pension assets for the pension funds in these sectors. APG has offices in Heerlen, Amsterdam, Brussels, New York and Hong Kong.

Read more: APGAware SuperCity IDNetherlandsAmsterdamAlek MisecAlexander GoadFirst State SuperRobert-Jan FoortseVicSuper
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