27 Jul
2007

Ascott Acquires First Property In The Heart Of Edinburgh, Scotland

Ascott’s portfolio will cover 50 cities in 21 countries when Edinburgh property opens in 2009

Singapore, 16 July 2007 – The Ascott Group (Ascott) has signed a sale and purchase agreement with Gladedale Capital (Gladedale) which specialises in building high-quality commercial developments in the United Kingdom.  Gladedale will construct and deliver to Ascott a seven-storey building in its bare shell status which Ascott will further furnish into a 107-unit serviced residence in Edinburgh. Ascott will invest a total of £24.7 million (S$76.1 million) including the purchase cost of £21.4 million (S$66 million) in the property, its first acquisition in Scotland.

The serviced residence to be named Citadines Edinburgh Quartermile is located in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre and targeted for opening in mid-2009. The property will be within a premier business, residential and retail zone known as Quartermile, a major urban development project expected to be completed by 2012.

Mr Lim Chin Beng, Ascott’s Chairman said: “Ascott has been seeking suitable locations in Europe’s key gateway cities to enhance its presence and increase its present European portfolio of 5,000 units to 7,500 units by 2010. Ascott currently operates 44 properties in Europe; with Citadines Edinburgh Quartermile, it will reap benefits in brand visibility.  Through its agreement with Gladedale, Ascott is also the first international serviced residence owner-operator to enter Edinburgh.”

Mr Liew Mun Leong, Ascott's Deputy Chairman, and President and CEO of its parent company CapitaLand Group, said: “Ascott currently operates seven properties in London; the Group is expanding beyond London into Edinburgh as it holds huge potential for Ascott. It is the second most important financial city, and has the second highest gross domestic product in the United Kingdom after London. Beyond Edinburgh and London, Ascott intends to enhance its presence in other cities in the United Kingdom as well. This is consistent with our strategy to establish a key presence in gateway cities globally.”

Mr Gerald Lee, Ascott’s CEO for Europe said: “Edinburgh is recognised as a key growth engine for Scotland’s economy, and is also one of the top 10 international conference and convention cities in the world. The capital enjoys strong tourism arrivals of more than 10 million visitors annually. There is therefore strong demand from both the leisure and business segments for accommodation in Edinburgh. Occupancy rates hit 80% last year, and there is a shortage of serviced residences in the city. Overall, with strong performance and double-digit growth in revenue per available unit from our properties in the United Kingdom, we are confident that we will see continued growth from our European operations.  We also recently acquired a property in Munich and will continue to seek suitable properties in other key cities in Europe as part of our expansion there.”
 
Jim McIntyre, Managing Director of Gladedale Capital, said: “We are delighted that an internationally-recognised operator such as Ascott is coming to Quartermile. This is a groundbreaking deal in a number of ways. The apart’hotel model is a new concept for Edinburgh and we believe it will be a popular one with visitors. In addition, the presence of an international player like Ascott will help to boost Scotland’s hospitality and real estate sectors.”

Citadines Edinburgh Quartermile will be within the Quartermile development, a joint venture project by Bank of Scotland and Gladedale. The project consists of 19 acres of Edinburgh’s city centre which has been undergoing urban re-development into one of Europe’s premier business, residential and retail zones.  When completed by 2012, the Quartermile development will include over 300,000 square feet of premium office space, over 55,000 square feet of retail and leisure space, over 900 new and converted modern apartments, and seven acres of landscaped gardens and public space.

Quartermile is a flagship project designed by Foster and Partners, a leading firm of architects in the United Kingdom. The practice is strongly associated with its founder, Sir Norman Foster, and has constructed many high-profile glass and steel, high-tech buildings around the world, including Singapore’s own Expo Mass Rapid Transit Station located in the east.

About Gladedale Capital

Gladedale Capital is the commercial and mix-used development arm of the Gladedale Group, the 10th largest house builder in the United Kingdom. Gladedale Group is a holding company with a range of subsidiaries specialising in the building of high-quality residential developments throughout London, Southern England, the Midlands and Scotland.  Its flagship projects include an innovative £120 million regeneration project which transformed the London Royal Docks into an exciting new waterside residential, commercial and leisure haven called Royal Quay.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is the largest international serviced residence owner-operator outside the United States with over 19,500 serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region. This includes over 5,500 units which are under development. 

The Group operates three brands – Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its portfolio spans 50 cities in 21 countries, nine of which are new cities where Ascott’s serviced residences are being developed. Ascott’s properties can be found in cities including London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia / New Zealand, as well as Dubai in the Gulf region.

The Ascott Group is headquartered in Singapore.  It pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. It also established the world’s first pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust in 2006. Today, the Group boasts a 23-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

The Ascott Group’s achievements have been recognised internationally.  Recent awards include TravelWeekly Asia Industry Awards 2007 ‘Best Serviced Residence (Group)’, China 2007 ‘Top 100 Serviced Apartments Award’, Vietnam Economic Times 2006 ‘Golden Dragon Award’, The Asset’s 2006 ‘Triple A Country Award for Best Deal in Singapore’, Travel Weekly China 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence’, Business Traveller China 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand in China’, TTG Travel 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence’, 2006 World Travel Awards, Business Traveller Asia Pacific 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and ‘Best Serviced Residence’ awards. For a full list of awards, please visit: Awards and Accolades.

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, The Ascott Group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of the largest listed real estate companies in Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in real estate, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The company's real estate and hospitality portfolio spans more than 90 cities in over 20 countries.

For more information on The Ascott Group’s property listings, visit Group Directory Listing.

 

Media
Celina Low, Vice President, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0475 

Hp: (65) 9682 5458 

Email: celina.low@the-ascott.com

Joan Tan, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0474 

Hp: (65) 9743 9503 

Email: joan.tan@the-ascott.com

Analyst
Lilian Goh, Head, Investor Relations

Tel: (65) 6586 7231  

Hp: (65) 9795 5225  

Email: lilian.goh@the-ascott.com