Ireland’s first REIT has ‘opportunistic’ strategy

Green REIT, which today revealed that it is seeking a listing on the Irish Stock Exchange, is looking to deliver income and capital growth through ‘opportunistic investments’, as well as active property management and ‘prudent’ use of debt finance

Ireland’s first real estate investment trust was revealed today, with the investment manager behind it suggesting that it would have an opportunistic strategy.

In a statement today, Green REIT said it was seeking a listing on the Irish Stock Exchange and would look to raise €200 million. The public REIT would “deliver income and capital growth through opportunistic investments, active property management and prudent use of debt finance,” it stated. The target date for the IPO is July 18, when it is expected to become Ireland’s first REIT since the country introduced a law enabling their creation.

Green REIT said its objective is to assemble a portfolio of freehold and long leasehold properties consisting primarily of commercial property in Ireland, principally Dublin. The investment manager intends to focus on creating both income and strong capital returns with a target total shareholder return of 10 percent to 15 percent each year when fully invested. The manager, called Green Property REIT Ventures Limited, is led by Dublin-based property professionals Stephen Vernon and Pat Gunne.

“The company believes that the management team’s distinct knowledge of, and competence within, the Irish commercial property market will make it well placed to capitalize on the opportunities presented by current and expected market conditions,” the REIT stated. The management team intends to invest €10 million into the venture via shares and hold them for at least three years.

Gary Kennedy, chairman of Green REIT, said: “The establishment of Ireland’s first REIT is positive for the Irish commercial property market, providing stability with long-term capital, and represents a significant commitment to Ireland by an established team with detailed knowledge of the dynamics of this market.” Vernon, a non-executive director, called it an “exciting investment vehicle” to capitalize on the “many opportunities” it sees emerging in the Irish commercial property market, both now and as the cycle continues to evolve.

One Dublin-based real estate professional added: “The private equity community needs to link up with local players to actually transact in this market, if they are going to be a serious competitor to REITs and funds already targeting prime Dublin properties.”