The Schroders-managed West End of London property trust is seeking to raise over £100m via an AIM listing giving investors access to its Jersey-domiciled vehicle.
The West End of London Property Investment Company (WELPIC), a new Guernsey-incorporated trust, will invest in the existing West End of London Property unit trust (WELPUT), managed by Schroders and Grafton Advisers.
WELPUT, an £873m portfolio established in 2001, provides institutional investors with exposure to the still-booming West End and 'Mid Town' London office property market.
The new trust is seeking to increase its market capitalisation to over £250m in the coming 18-24 months, and subsequently seek admission to the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
AIM dealing is expected to commence on 5 February. Members of the Schroders and Grafton Advisers management team have subscribed to a collective £125,000 worth of ordinary shares in the initial placing.
"WELPIC provides investors with a listed and tradable security that gives direct exposure to an established portfolio of West End and Mid Town London assets," said Schroder Property Investment Management head of property William Hill.
"By acquiring existing units, there is no cash drag and no associated investment costs of acquiring property, making it a very efficient route for investors to gain exposure to the market."
Robert King, non-executive chairman of WELPIC, said: "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."
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