Hibernia REIT raises €365m

The newly-launched Hibernia real estate investment trust raised €365m in an initial public offering to become the second REIT to launch in Ireland this year as the property market stabilises.

Following Green REIT onto the market, Hibernia raised slightly more than its targeted €350m, planning to build a portfolio of mainly commercial property — principally Dublin office space.

CEO Kevin Nowlan said: “We believe a unique opportunity exists in Ireland to build an attractive property investment portfolio in light of current property values, the supply of assets on the market and the outlook for rents.”

This year, the Government made legislative changes to permit the setting up of REITs, which allow investors to own property via a company rather than being direct landlords and are an important feature of the British property market.

Commercial property prices are beginning to stabilise from falls of around 65% after the bursting of a credit-fuelled property bubble wreaked havoc on the country.

Hibernia is aiming to provide annual shareholder returns of 10% to 15%. “This will bring further investment capital to the Irish property market and will also provide increased choice for investors,” said Finance Minister Michael Noonan.  Source: Reuters