Trust snaps up five properties for €23m

Ireland’s first property investment trust Green REIT has bought five Dublin-based properties from Danske Bank for €23m, significantly boosting its asset portfolio.

Trust snaps up five properties for €23m

The Dublin-and London-quoted trust was the first firm to avail of the real estate investment trust legislation introduced by Finance Minister Michael Noonan in the budget.

It said yesterday that it expects the latest acquisitions to conclude “imminently”.

The properties have a combined rent role of €1.4m and come with “significant redevelopment potential”.

Green REIT said it also acquired a property on Dublin’s Mount St late last year for €6.35m.

To date, Green REIT has invested €214m worth of equity. The trust’s second portfolio of commercial property assets includes properties on Molesworth St, Ormond Quay, and Mount St in Dublin, and comes with an initial yield of 10.5%.

Management said the business is in a strong position. Green REIT yesterday reported a pre-tax profit of €121,000 for its first eight months in existence, and a net asset value of €299.7m, or 96.7c per share. It has €86m of equity still available for investment, together with “headroom” to raise up to €161m of additional debt finance.

The company was recently selected by Nama as the preferred bidder on the Central Park property development in Leopardstown.

“We expect increased activity in the Irish commercial property market in 2014,” chief executive Pat Gunne said.

“Green REIT is uniquely positioned to capitalise on a more active market in 2014, to build a portfolio of high-quality assets which will enhance our ability to deliver attractive returns for our shareholders.

Chairman Gary Kennedy said: “We established as an investor in the Irish commercial property market at an opportune time when market activity was beginning to increase and values started recovering.

“The effective deployment of further capital will grow the size of our portfolio, enhance our income stream and drive shareholder returns.”

Green REIT said while over 78% of property sales are coming from banks and Nama, there is strong demand from a diverse buyer group looking to gain exposure to the Irish property market.

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