Equitativa and Lycée Français Jean Mermoz break ground on the second phase of school construction
Construction commences on secondary school building of Lycée Français Jean Mermoz
Equitativa, the largest REIT manager in the GCC, and manager of Emirates REIT, and Lycée Français Jean Mermoz (“Lycee”) today broke ground on a new AED 25 million educational facility at the Lycée, to house the school’s addition of a secondary level education to its current programme. The ground-breaking marks the start of construction on the project ahead of the opening of its senior school planned for September 2020.
Lycée Français Jean Mermoz offers a French Curriculum programme taught in French in conjunction with English and Arabic for pre-school, elementary and middle school students. This will be extended to secondary education in the next academic year 2020-2021, for which students are already on a waiting list.
Owned by Emirates REIT, the new building will be immediately leased to Lycée Français Jean Mermoz upon completion, in a long-term agreement that extends to 25 years.
The new educational facility, together with the existing school, is expected to generate an estimated Internal Rate of Return (IRR) in excess of 11%.
This development milestone at the school follows the landmark acquisition and immediate lease-back agreement with the Lycée Français Jean Mermoz last year. At the time, the Lycée simultaneously entered into a second Istisna agreement to fund the construction of facilities’ extension in two phases. The secondary school building is part of the growth plan for the Lycée Français Jean Mermoz in its second phase of construction.
The overall investment, including the development of two extensions, is budgeted to approximately reach AED 120 million (USD 33 million). The facilities will propose a final built-up area over 60,000 sq ft.
The Lycée Français Jean Mermoz is located in the heart of the residential area of Al Quoz, between Business Bay and Al Barsha neighbourhoods. It was inaugurated in September 2017. After completion of the two extensions, the facilities comprising a large gym, an auditorium and two indoor pools alongside the classrooms will be able to accommodate up to 1,250 students.
Abdullah Al Hamli, Chairman of Emirates REIT, commented:
“We are pleased to break ground and commence construction on the secondary school building which will be developed over a 60,000 square feet area and will house 24 additional classrooms and modern ancillary services, such as laboratories, gymnasium and an auditorium. We anticipate this to be fully completed in less than 12 months, and believe this new project will strengthen Emirates REIT’s rental income, offering substantial upside valuation and securing long-term cash flows.”
Sylvain Vieujot, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates REIT, commented:
“This is part of Emirates REIT’s acquisition strategy and expansion plans for 2020 and is a typical example of a successful partnership with school operators and how we assist them in their growth while providing Emirates REIT investors above benchmark returns.”
Sultan Bin Obaid, Chairman, Lycée Français Jean Mermoz, added:
“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Equitativa on this new development, which complements the educational offering to our existing students and presents an opportunity for bespoke secondary education to new students. This addition will provide us with a wing for secondary school students. For me, these 24 new classrooms for high school education offer continuity for students coming out of our elementary and intermediate school and give peace of mind to their parents looking at quality education for their children in an environment they recognise and appreciate.”
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About Equitativa Group
The Equitativa Group is a leading regional asset manager focused on creating and managing real estate investment trusts (REITs). The group offers innovative risk-adjusted, income generating financial products that cater to institutional and retail investors. As the founder of the UAE’s first Shari’a compliant REIT, Emirates REIT, established in the DIFC, Equitativa is today the largest REIT Manager in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the biggest REIT Manager for Shari’a Compliant REITs in the world. Equitativa has about USD 2 billion of assets under management in the UAE including Emirates REIT and The Residential REIT, the latter incorporated in Abu Dhabi Global Markets. Equitativa is further diversifying its REITs by launching a hospitality REIT, a logistics REIT, and several other REITs in emerging markets.