The Student Hotel secures EUR300m of funding from current shareholders Aermont and APG
The Student Hotel (TSH), an Amsterdam-based, hybrid hospitality leader, has secured EUR300 million of funding from its current shareholders Aermont and APG, with APG providing EUR175 million of its investment through its existing LRF venture managed by LaSalle.
This funding will fuel its international expansion plans allowing the company to launch the construction of seven new flagship hotels in key EU gateway cities and adding nearly 3,000 rooms to the existing portfolio, to fund the roll-out of cutting-edge technology at its hotels and pursue new investments.
While many hospitality groups have been immobilised by Covid, TSH’s unique hybrid hospitality model has enabled the company to successfully navigate through the pandemic, even allowing for the opening of three hotels over the past 18 months (Bologna, Delft and Vienna, the largest hotel in the city).
TSH anticipates 2022 will be another important year with potential revenue in excess of EUR100 million, which is 25 per cent over 2019 pre-pandemic levels. The group will open a further three hotels in 2022 allowing it to expand its presence in Europe and resulting in opening more than 1,000 rooms in Madrid, Barcelona and Toulouse.
“We performed better than many traditional hospitality companies during the Covid pandemic. Our student, co-working and co-living customers have been very loyal and helped ensure that we were EBITDA positive at our hotels. Thanks to our hybrid operating model, we were able to quickly increase our room allocation towards students at a moment when leisure and corporate travel disappeared. Despite all the restrictions on travel, the lockdowns and education disruptions for students, we achieved strong occupancy over the past 18 months even in new markets where we had just opened. This has allowed us to come through the Covid crisis stronger,” says CEO of TSH, Charlie MacGregor.
For the academic year 2020/2021, TSH achieved a 51 per cent occupancy rate across all locations and room segments. As the world starts to re-open and restrictions ease, the group sees strong pick-up on demand. As of September, long-stay bookings are already back to 2019 levels with occupancy close to 100 per cent and waiting lists, while TSH moved over 20 per cent of its hotel rooms to the student market since 2019. For the full year 2022, TSH expects to achieve a blended occupancy across its entire portfolio in excess of 80 per cent.
“The unprecedented test brought by the pandemic proved the resilience and the lower volatile nature of The Student Hotel hybrid business model thanks to its diversified sources of revenues. With its unrivalled owned portfolio of prime properties across Europe and its unique community-based hospitality experience across generations, TSH emerges from the pandemic well capitalised and superbly positioned to consolidate its leadership position towards the millennial and Gen-Z audience," says Vincent Rouget, partner at Aermont.
On the technology front, TSH is implementing new cutting-edge systems, allowing it to better address customer needs. This technology will bring the company closer to its guests, increasing satisfaction and overall retention. TSH will implement the first space/time booking platform across its hotels. This effectively means that guests will be able to book any space in TSH buildings for a defined period of time – from meeting rooms to co-working desks, parking spaces and ping pong tables.
MacGregor says: “We have used the time afforded by the pandemic to evaluate where we are going and what is the ‘sweet spot’ for our customers and for our business. Our strategy consists of creating the most agile business possible to meet the changing demand from our customers while sticking to our TSH values and creating a consistent portfolio of high-profile locations which include all of our services.”