Squarestone aims to raise £250m for Brazil

A Sao Paulo-based company, to be formed in an IPO on the junior London stock exchange, hopes to develop malls in the fast emerging market

Squarestone Brasil is to be launched by London-based Squarestone and is aiming to raise £250 million (€284 million; $385 million) in an initial public offering on London’s junior Alternative Investment Market (AIM) to develop shopping centres in the fast emerging Brazil.

The firm, to be run from an office in Sau Paulo, will be created upon admission to AIM and is hoping to earn investors a minimum of 30 percent returns from its projects.

It said today that the investment vehicle would be seeded with existing assets managed by the company’s fully formed Brazilian arm, Squarestone Brasil II Administraçaoe Participaçâo, which will be acquired upon listing.

Squarestone is chaired by Tony Cambell, a former deputy chief executive of Walmart’s UK supermarket chain, Asda.

The chief executive is James Morse, formerly of European private equity real estate firm, Europa Capital Partners. He joined Europa  in 2000 to concentrate on retail and industrial portfolio transactions mainly in the UK, Germany and Poland.

A fellow former Europa executive, Robert Sloss, is to be a part-time executive director. Sloss joined Europa in 1999 to become a principal working in Western Europe, but left in 2001 to acquire mixed-use real estate investments.

Cambell said in a statement that Squarestone would exploit the “compelling economic, demographic, consumer and real estate dynamics” in Brazil.

It would be the largest IPO on AIM in over a year and the first real estate IPO of 2010.

Current Squarestone investors are rolling over and reinvesting around £20 million into the new company, which will initially focus on shopping centres in Greater Sao Paulo.

The firm’s investment strategy is based on capitalising on the country’s GDP growth forecasts of around 5 percent, its economic stability and its historically low levels of unemployment, inflation and interest rates.