BLG Capital Ltd. has completed a partial exit from two Republika Academic ApartsBLG Capital Ltd. (“BLG Capital”) has sold a significant minority interest in two of its student accommodation assets to The Abraaj Group (“Abraaj”), a leading investor operating in the growth markets. The sale concerns a significant minority stake in two high quality student accommodation assets and the Republika Academic Aparts management company. The two properties are Republika Ortakoy and Republika Cakmakli, which were both opened in September 2012 with total combined capacity of 1,274 beds.
BLG Capital established Republika Academic Aparts (“Republika”) in 2011, which is one of the first institutional operators of student accommodation schemes in Turkey and seeks to achieve uniformity of design, experience, social facilities, property management, sales and marketing and tenant relations across all of Republika’s managed properties. Republika is a new concept in accommodation designed for students and young professionals living in Turkey. As a lifestyle focused brand it offers premium, purpose built, shared apartments and studios in great locations close to universities and vibrant urban communities. Republika has two operating assets, Republika Ortakoy and Republika Cakmakli and one property under construction, Florya Aparts.
The two properties are situated in Ortakoy and Buyukcekmece, both strong catchment areas for students, young professionals and short stay guests in Istanbul. The properties are designed, built and operated to the highest standards and provide a host of amenities and services including cafes, restaurants, pool, gym, study and games room, which combine to create a desirable new living experience for students and young professionals in Istanbul.
BLG Capital has a strategic ambition to expand its student accommodation business locally and internationally. The sale of the interest in the two properties and management company is in line with BLG Capital’s strategy to form strategic alliances with experienced partners to further develop its operating platform and to enhance portfolio value for its investors. Going forward, BLG Capital and Abraaj will seek to capitalize on the under supply of institutional quality student accommodation and strong demand for higher education due to Turkey’s young and growing population and increasing household income.
Serdar Bilgili, Chairman and CEO of BLG Capital commented: “We are very excited about our partnership with one of the most reputable global investors in the private equity business, and look forward to developing our portfolio further via additional investments in the student accommodation sector. The transaction marks an important strategic partnership to further grow the vibrant Republika brand in the rapidly growing student accommodation market of Turkey.”
Selcuk Yorgancioglu, Partner and Regional Head of Central Asia and Turkey at The Abraaj Group, said: “I am delighted that Abraaj’s on-the-ground presence and strong local connections in Turkey have enabled us to identify and acquire a substantial stake in Republika. Our position as a trusted and valued investor in growth markets has resulted in a mutually beneficial partnership with a respected institutional player.”
About BLG Capital:
BLG Capital is an independently managed private equity real estate company focused on investments in real estate assets and companies with underlying real estate assets in Turkey and adjacent geographies. BLG’s principal focus is on hospitality, student accommodation, city center mixed-use projects, office and high end residential.
BLG operates one of the few locally based, vertically integrated investment and development platforms in Turkey for institutional and private investors. BLG differentiates itself through its unique vision of high-end, lifestyle focused project design and attention to detail combined with creative real estate asset management and significant execution capabilities.
BLG Capital successfully closed its first real estate fund, BLG Turkish Real Estate Fund L.P. in 2012 and completed six investments on behalf of the fund including three student accommodation projects, one luxury lifestyle hotel project with significant food & beverage and private club components to be operated by Soho House Ltd. and two mixed-use projects.
About Abraaj Group:
The Abraaj Group is a leading investor operating in the growth markets of Asia, MENA, Turkey and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. In 2012 it completed the merger of Aureos Capital, thereby creating the deepest bench of private equity experience across growth markets.
Employing over 300 people, the Group has over 30 offices spread across 6 regional hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Mumbai, Nairobi and Singapore. Local presence across these markets provides the Group with unmatched expertise, know-how, proprietary transactional access and the ability to grow partner businesses across borders.
The Abraaj Group currently manages US$ 7.5 billion across 25 sector and country-specific Funds, encompassing private equity (majority and significant minority investments with ticket sizes between US$ 10 million to US$ 100 million) and real estate (primarily yield-generating) investments.
Funds managed by the Group have holdings in over 150 partner companies that collectively employ over 200,000 people and create sustainable value in sectors including manufacturing, education, retail, aviation, oil and gas, financial payments infrastructure, healthcare and agribusiness. The Group’s current partner companies include industry leaders such as Network International, the largest independent payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa, NEP Holding, with its Diamond brand and a market leader in the residential filtration market of Malaysia (with a growing presence in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southern China), Brookside Dairy, the leading dairy in East Africa and, Iasacorp, a long established family run women’s retail business in Peru.
The Group has set the standard for private equity investing in growth markets, having returned c. US$ 4 billion to investors from over 60 full and partial exits, providing industry leading returns across a range of companies that have emerged as today’s regional champions and tomorrow’s global challengers.
The Abraaj Group has an investor base of 300, including corporates, development finance institutions, financial institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, high net worth individuals and other institutional investors from Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.
The Abraaj Group is committed to the highest environmental, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance standards. The Group is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and the United Nations Global Compact. The Group’s founder, Arif Naqvi, was appointed to the United Nations Global Compact Board by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon in 2012. In 2013 Mr Naqvi was awarded the Oslo Business for Peace Award, one of the highest forms of recognition given to global business leaders for fostering peace and stability through creating shared values between business and society.
Through its social investing programme, The Abraaj Group has supported best in class organisations focused on entrepreneurship and job creation, healthcare, education and community engagement and thereby enabled a deep-rooted and sustainable impact on the economic landscape of the markets in which it operates.
This publication is issued by Abraaj Capital Limited (ACLD), a member of The Abraaj Group that is authorised and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”). Several Group members are regulated by a number of international regulatory authorities including the DFSA under whose rules ACLD has issued this publication.