West End of London Property Investment Company (Welpic) is seeking to raise over £100 mln (€123 mln) by listing on London Stock Exchange's AIM junior market.
The net proceeds of the issue by Welpic, the new closed-ended investment company, will be fully invested into the West End of London Property Unit Trust (Welput), a Jersey closed-ended unit trust with a portfolio of £873 mln.
The operation give Welpic exposure to 12 West End of London and Mid-Town properties, in line with its plans to invest in office property in the West End and Mid-Town areas of London.
‘The portfolio provides the potential to add value through significant refurbishment and re-letting opportunities timed for anticipated growth in rental values in the West End and Mid-Town office markets,’ the company said.
Unconditional dealings on AIM are expected to commence on 5 February 2013. Following admission, Welpic will not have any substantial assets or business other than Units in Welput. The company said it plans to increase its market capitalisation to in excess of £250 mln over the next 18 to 24 months and, if its growth plans are achieved, it will seek admission to London’s Main market.
Schroders and the senior team of Quintain Estates and Development’s Grafton Advisors are advising Welput. Key members of their management and property advisory team have also agreed to subscribe, in aggregate, £125,000 for ordinary shares pursuant to the placing. Oriel Securities has been appointed as Nominated Adviser, Placing Agent, Broker and Bookrunner.
‘Admission of Welpic to AIM provides investors with an opportunity to invest in a high quality portfolio of West End offices at NAV, run by a management team that has delivered a strong track record of outperformance,’ commented Robert King, non executive chairman of Welpic. ‘We believe this presents a compelling investment opportunity at an attractive price, particularly when compared to listed London property companies, which are currently commanding premia to their respective NAVs.’