InfraCo Africa elevates housing for students in Kenya

InfraCo Africa, a pivotal part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), has recently subscribed to the Acorn Holdings Ltd (Acorn) Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) promising to upkeep the delivery of affordable houses for students in Kenya.

The US$10m investment, made through InfraCo Africa’s dedicated investment vehicle, will now empower Acorn to scale its business, standing on the company’s track record of providing purpose-built housing for students in Kenya, and helping to organize local capital markets.

Gilles Vaes, InfraCo Africa’s CEO, noted, “This subscription grades our first investment into affordable housing and I am pleased to take this step with Acorn, a well-respected developer of high quality student accommodation.  Expanding Acorn’s student housing offering will support Nairobi’s university students to accomplish their ambitions, supporting Kenya’s future economic development under its “Big 4” agenda. Being the anchor investor in the Acorn REITs, our partaking will also reinforce local capital markets to support related infrastructure initiatives in the future.”

As a rapid rise in student numbers, Kenya is now undergoing a chronic scarcity of suitable student accommodation. Acorn is now pursuing to draw private sector investment from Kenya’s local capital markets in order to accomplish its ambitious growth strategy.

The company has also launched two REITs namely, a Development REIT to support development of housing projects, and an Income REIT for operational housing blocks.

Edward Kirathe, the CEO of Acorn Holdings Ltd., stated, “We are thrilled to be enduring to develop our Kenyan Capital Markets by getting good quality asset-backed and regulated issuances to market that have striking returns, strong international institutional back-up and the highest standards of corporate governance.

Carried in 2 phases, the 11-block initiative will offer a total of 8,800 additional student beds over the next 5 years. The buildings will abide by IFC EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) standards for green building, building on the soaring standards developed to certify the first Green Bond in East Africa in 2019.

By proposing a range of accommodation types, Acorn will guarantee that students with a multiplicity of income levels can access affordable housing. Students will have right to use to 24 hour electricity, clean water, sanitation  and wi-fi as well as social areas and safe transport to academic institutions.

By assisting Acorn to scale its offering further, InfraCo Africa will permit more students to access safe, affordable housing for the period of their studies.

Once operating at scale, Acorn plans to list the Income REIT on the NSE, deepening and broadening the NSE’s product offering which, it is expected, will back up other affordable housing initiatives in the future.

 

Posted on : 11 Apr,2021

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