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Ascott buys prime London property via joint fund with Qatar

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Capitaland's serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited, is investing S$100.4 million or £52 million in a 108-unit property in Islington, London, its third acquisition within five months through its joint fund with Qatar Investment Authority.

CAPITALAND'S serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited, is investing S$100.4 million or £52 million in a 108-unit property in Islington, London, its third acquisition within five months through its joint fund with Qatar Investment Authority.

The 50:50 fund made its maiden acquisition of two properties in Paris and Tokyo for US$137 million in November 2015.

The latest acquisition is close to London's West End and a 10-minute walk to The Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal Football Club. It is scheduled to open in 2019.

The serviced apartments will be part of the prime Islington Square, an integrated development developed by Sager Group. Islington Square will comprise 263 new homes and 170,000 square feet of retail and leisure facilities.

The property, which will be named Citadines Islington London, will reside within a beautifully restored Edwardian building - the former Royal Mail's sorting office, where its baroque facade and ornate detailing from more than a century ago will be preserved.

Lee Chee Koon, Ascott's chief executive officer, said the addition of Citadines Islington London will strengthen Ascott's position as one of the largest international serviced residence operators in Europe, with an asset size of over S$1.5 billion.

"Our portfolio in the region will increase to more than 5,300 units in 45 properties across France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Georgia and Spain. We aim to double our portfolio in Europe to 10,000 units by 2020," he said.

Ascott has over 28,000 operating serviced residence units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, as well as over 17,000 units which are under development, making a total of more than 45,000 units in over 290 properties.