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Hibernia Reit begins another share buyback programme

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Hibernia Reit’s Kevin Nowlan

Hibernia Reit’s Kevin Nowlan

Hibernia Reit’s Kevin Nowlan

Hibernia A Reit has started a new buyback programme for up to €25m of its stock.

The stock buybacks started yesterday and may continue until the end of February 2021, subject to market conditions, according to a statement from the group.

Kevin Nowlan, Hibernia's CEO, said: "Despite the uncertain economic outlook our business is in a strong position: our rent collection statistics are good and our balance sheet is extremely robust, with a last reported loan to value ratio of 16.5pc."

"This €25m share buyback is expected to be accretive to net asset value per share and earnings per share and will also complete the return to shareholders of the proceeds from the sale of 77 Sir John Rogerson's Quay started with the €25m share buyback undertaken last year."

The maximum number of ordinary shares to be repurchased under the programme is 68,478,208 and these can be repurchased on either Euronext Dublin or the London Stock Exchange.

Goodbody Stockbrokers will repurchase the shares on the company's behalf.

Colm Lauder, analyst at Goodbody, said the buyback programme "is a logical use of Hibernia's liquidity given the wide discount at which it currently trades to net asset value".

At June 30 Hibernia had net debt of €235m and cash and undrawn facilities of €160m.

Last month Mr Nowlan said office landlords would have to offer incentives such as extra rent-free months and lower rates to fill vacant units as long as Covid-19 depresses demand.

He forecasts that Hibernia and other holders of prime Dublin office space will compete more intensely on price to win new business.

Irish Independent