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Mon, 25 September 2023

CapitaLand Ascott Trust Completes Sale of Four Serviced Residences in France

(25/09/23)  CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS) has completed the divestment of four serviced residences in regional France to an undisclosed third party for a total of EUR44.4 million (SG$64.7 million based on an exchange rate of EUR1 to SG$1.4568).

The four properties are Citadines Croisette Cannes, Citadines Prado Chanot Marseille, Citadines Castellane Marseille and Citadines City Centre Lille (pictured below).

The four properties were divested at 63% above book value (based on an independent valuation dated 31 December 2022) and net proceeds of the divestment is approximately EUR34.1 million (SG$49.7 million).

The exit yield is about 4% and CLAS received a net gain of approximately EUR1.2 million (SG$1.8 million).

Post-divestment, CLAS has 12 properties in France, predominantly located in Paris, including La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris and Citadines Les Halles Paris that are undergoing an asset enhancement initiative (AEI) to uplift their value and profitability. AEI works include refurbishment of guest rooms and general public areas and both properties will remain open, receiving rent throughout the AEI.

Citadines City Centre Lille. Click to enlarge.
Citadines City Centre Lille

“We have divested the four mature properties as part of our active portfolio reconstitution strategy to deliver sustainable returns to our Stapled Securityholders. As these properties have reached the optimal stage of their life cycles, the divestment enables CLAS to redeploy the proceeds to higher-yielding assets. Proceeds from the divestment will be used for our AEI in Europe. It will also be used to partially finance CLAS’ recent proposed acquisition of three prime lodging assets in the capital cities of London, Dublin and Jakarta,” said Serena Teo, CEO of CapitaLand Ascott Trust Management Limited and CapitaLand Ascott Business Trust Management. “Over the past three years, we have successfully divested properties at a premium to book value and invested the proceeds in higher-yielding assets, increasing our total distribution. With the recent proposed acquisition, we expect to further increase our total distribution by SG$13.5 million and our Distribution per Stapled Security (DPS) by 1.8% on a FY 2022 proforma basis upon completion of the acquisition. The EBITDA yield of the proposed acquisition is 6.2%5 on a FY 2022 pro forma basis, more than 2% higher than the exit yield from the divestment of the four properties in regional France. Post-renovation for The Cavendish London and Temple Bar Hotel as well as Milestone Payments for the acquisition, we expect to achieve an increased yield of 6.8%.”

In August 2023, CLAS signed a memorandum of understanding with its sponsor, Ascott, for a proposed accretive acquisition of three lodging assets – a hotel in London, The Cavendish London; a hotel in Dublin, Temple Bar Hotel; and a serviced residence in Jakarta, Ascott Kuningan Jakarta – at an agreed property value of SG$530.8 million.

The proposed acquisition is part of CLAS’ ongoing efforts to enhance its portfolio through yield accretive investments and AEIs.

In FY 2022, CLAS invested SG$420 million in 15 accretive acquisitions, which contributed to the increase in CLAS’ DPS in 1H 2023. The new properties are largely longer-stay properties with average occupancy rates of over 95%, further enhancing CLAS’ stable income streams. In 1H 2023, CLAS’ DPS increased by 19% year on-year to 2.78 cents.

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