Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate is close to raising £350m through a new share issue.
This will give the company, which launched a £1bn initial public offering in February, new firepower to invest into real estate and distressed loans in the UK, Irish and Spanish market, having made £1.2bn of investments since it was listed. The company currently has a 34% loan-to-value ratio across its portfolio.
A firm placing of shares worth £100m has been completed and an open offer of £250m of shares has been made with trading expected to commence on 23 October.
Mary Ricks, president and chief executive of KW Europe, (pictured) said: “We are pleased with the support received today from our stakeholders. We are poised to take advantage of the many compelling investment opportunities we are currently seeing in the European real estate market, with a view to further strengthening the company’s portfolio to enhance shareholder value.”
Of the firm placing, 36.1% of the new shares were taken up by Marketfield Asset Management, Quantum Strategic Partners and Wellington Management Company. Kennedy Wilson has bought up £13.6m of shares with chief executive of Kennedy Wilson Europe, Mary Ricks and chairman and chief executive, William McMorrow taking on £60,119 of shares each.
In recent months Kennedy Wilson Europe has been increasing its gearing levels having deployed large amounts of its equity with minimal or no debt. Last month it secured a £184m loan from Royal Bank of Scotland held against the £296m Jupiter portfolio formerly owned by Moises and Mendi Gerner’s Fordgate and, in August, it put in place a three-year £127m loan from GE Capital secured against the Tiger and Artemis portfolios it seeded the company with.