Green REIT hails US
THE chairman of the Green REIT says there was no interest in Europe for his new stock market-listed vehicle– set up to buy property here – ahead of its IPO, but large US investors were eager to invest.
The Green REIT raised €310m in its stock market listing over the summer, with backing from the likes of PIMCO and Franklin Templeton.
Property was a secondary consideration for most of the US investors, Stephen Vernon told the Funding for Growth conference organised by the Irish Stock Exchange, yesterday.
US investors wanted to buy into an Irish recovery story and backed the Green property vehicle because it will invest in the domestic economy, not because it will invest in property specifically, he said.
Investors that had previously invested in Green Property when it was listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, and had made money, were approached before the US investors but shied away from the IPO, he said. The main European funds that backed real estate investment trusts elsewhere in Europe have also stayed away so far, he said.
The decision to use a REIT structure was only made in March, Mr Vernon said, after the Government introduced legislation allowing for the creation of tax efficient stock market listed structures.
Before that Green Property had considered various forms of private equity funding to raise the required war chest.
Once the decision to use the stock market was taken, Green along with advisors Davy, said the Central Bank and the Irish Stock Exchange provided extraordinary help in facilitating a speedy listing process.