REITs Boost Coffers as Investor Appetite Ramps Up


Activity across Australia’s real estate investment trusts is reaching a fever pitch, with ASX-listed funds Growthpoint, Cromwell and Centuria the latest property players to launch fresh equity raising rounds.

Growthpoint has tapped the market for $150 million to help fund the acquisition of a $50 million Sydney fringe office building and to back its Australian development expansion.

The South African-backed Growthpoint joins the rush of major trusts, including Dexus, GPT, Mirvac and Charter Hall, raising equity in a buzzing REIT market.

Growthpoint follows on from Brisbane fund manager Cromwell, who announced a $1 billion acquisition pipeline along with another $1 billion of value-add opportunities across its existing development portfolio.

First though, the Brisbane fund manager has issued a $375 million institutional placement, at $1.15 a security, along with a $30 million security purchase plan. The group is also looking further afield — identifying office and retail opportunities in Europe.

Cromwell still remains tied to Brisbane’s hot CBD office market, and is reportedly in talks to buy 400 George Street, owned by Blackstone and HSBC Trinkaus, for $530 million.

 ▲ Blackstone and HSBC Trinkaus' 400 George Street has been on the market for about a month.
▲ Blackstone and HSBC Trinkaus' 400 George Street has been on the market for about a month.

Other significant equity raising plays include GPT tapping the market for $800 million to strengthen its industrial portfolio and further its investment around Cockle Bay Wharf.

Dexus raised a fully-underwritten $900 million to help fund its mammoth 80 Collins Street buy, while Mirvac launched a $750 million placement to fund a $4 billion development pipeline.

Cromwell’s raising is being underwritten by Goldman Sachs and UBS, and Growthpoint turned to JPMorgan to launch its equity raising on Thursday.

Centuria is the third highly-acquisitive REIT to stump up stock this week — launching a $70 million placement, at $3.05 a unit, to fund the purchase of two Queensland industrial properties and one in North Geelong.

Settlement of the industrial assets is expected to occur over the next month, bringing the Centuria industrial REIT portfolio to $1.3 billion across 45 assets and positioning it as Australia’s largest domestic pure play industrial REIT.

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