Kennedy Wilson set to float European unit

Friday 14 February 2014 15.47
Kennedy Wilson betting on improvement in the Irish, UK and Spanish property markets
Kennedy Wilson betting on improvement in the Irish, UK and Spanish property markets

US property investment fund Kennedy Wilson said it plans to raise as much as £750m sterling from a listing of its European property unit.

The company is betting on an improvement in the property markets of Ireland, Britain and Spain.

Kennedy Wilson manages $13.7 billion of property assets across the US, Europe and Japan.

It said it planned to raise the cash by placing shares with eligible institutions and selected cornerstone investors, and a subscription by some of its affiliates.

"The European real estate market is mostly at or past the trough of the cycle and currently offers great investment opportunities to capable investors," Mary Ricks, president and chief executive of Kennedy Wilson Europe, said.

Kennedy Wilson said it had already received binding commitments of £685m of the gross proceeds, which included a pledge from a group of cornerstone investors and affiliates to invest £615m.

The twelve cornerstone partners include George Soros' Quantum Partners and asset manager Janus Capital, it said.

The listed unit would acquire property and property loans from distressed sellers and financial institutions looking to deleverage, and will initially invest in Ireland, the UK and Spain.

The company has bought over 20 properties already in Dublin, mainly comprising office and apartment blocks and commercial assets such as the Shelbourne Hotel.