Friday 19 January 2018

Investors bet on Dublin properties

Stephen Vernon: new investment
Stephen Vernon: new investment
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

SOME of the world's biggest investment firms are betting that Dublin's commercial property market is poised to rebound.

New York hedge fund giant Paulson & Co, Investec Asset Management and Pimco have emerged as some of the largest shareholders in Ireland's first real estate investment trust (REIT).

The trio have snapped up a combined 35.8pc stake in the €300m Green REIT, which is being backed by senior executives at Green Property and which is set to float on the stock exchange tomorrow morning.

John Paulson's $37bn (€28.3bn) hedge fund has taken a 12.9pc stake in the fund, while Investec has taken the same amount. A fund controlled by US-based investment group Pimco has close to a 10pc stake in the vehicle. Pimco has over $2 trillion (€1.5tn) of assets under management.

Green REIT, which will list in Dublin and London, had aimed to raise €200m, but generated strong international interest in the fund, resulting in it being oversubscribed.

Stake

Other key investors in the fund, as revealed in the REIT's newly-published prospectus, include New York investment firm BlackRock Advisors, which has a 9.6pc stake. Blackrock has $3.8tn (€2.9tn) of assets under management.

London-based Threadneedle Asset Management, which has £84bn (€97.2bn) of assets under management, has taken an 8.06pc stake in the REIT, while US investment group Franklin Templeton has a 3.5pc holding.

Green Property management, including its chairman Stephen Vernon and managing director Pat Gunne, are injecting €10m into the REIT and will hold a 3.23pc stake.

The prospectus also reveals that the REIT fund at start-up will total €299.1m after set-up fees of €10.8m are deducted.

Green Property owns the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre in Dublin and managed to offload a number of key UK assets before the property values fell, yielding about €1.48bn. It currently has €1.4bn of assets in Ireland and the UK.

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