Kennedy Wilson raises £351.5m and broadens its horizons

New share issue will help company fund European growth

Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate has successfully raised £351.5m through a new share issue as it considers entering into new markets.

New shares were issued at a price of £10.06 through a firm placing and an open offer, increasing the share capital of the firm by 35%.

Mary RicksThe cash raised will allow the company to fund future purchases of real estate assets and loans. Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate was the first major real estate player to launch an initial public offering this cycle, raising £1bn in February. Its ability to attract more funds shows a continued belief among investors that European property still represents good value.

The company initially outlined the UK, Ireland and Spain as its main target jurisdictions, but it is now understood to be turning its attentions to the Netherlands and Italy as well, both of which have shown some signs of recovery in recent months. It is only restricted to investing in Europe and would not need to ask permission from shareholders to invest outside of its three main focus areas.

Mary Ricks, president and chief executive (pictured) said: “This successful offering represents a further milestone for the company. We now look forward to capitalising on market conditions and our extensive pipeline of opportunities to invest the proceeds from the transaction as part of our strategy to deliver strong capital returns and sustainable earnings for our shareholders.”

Having been deploying equity almost exclusively in the first seven months after its launch, Kennedy Wilson subsequently ramped up its debt as well. Last month it put in place a £184m facility with Royal Bank of Scotland,  held against its Jupiter portfolio and its first corporate debt facility of £225m with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan. The previous month it financed its Tiger and Artemis portfolios with a £127m loan from GE Capital.