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EBRD becomes shareholder in real estate company Griffin Premium RE..

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD becomes shareholder in real estate company Griffin Premium RE..

Investment vehicle expected to be listed on Warsaw Stock Exchange on 13 April

The EBRD has become a shareholder in Griffin Premium RE..N.V, a company structured as a real estate investment trust ( REIT) and operating in Poland, giving Polish investors more exposure to the domestic property sector and supporting the development of the country’s capital market.

The EBRD bought its 9.48 per cent stake in Griffin Premium RE.. for PLN 84.4 million (approximately €20 million) as part of an initial public offering (IPO) on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The first day of trading is expected to be 13 April 2017. After the IPO, the free float will reach around 57 per cent, with existing shareholders – entities indirectly controlled by the global investment fund Oaktree Capital Group LLC – holding the remainder.

Griffin Premium RE.. was set up under Dutch legislation but the company plans to become the first REIT under a new Polish REIT law. The law is due to be adopted in 2017 and implemented in 2018 and will allow for the creation of REITs as a new asset class in Poland. Strengthening the Polish capital market is one of the EBRD’s key priorities for its work in the country.

Griffin Premium RE.. owns a portfolio of real estate assets throughout the country which generates rental income and will regularly pay out its earnings to shareholders in the form of dividends. The primary share issue raised new capital to expand the portfolio with additional Polish assets.

Claudia Pendred, EBRD Director for Property and Tourism, said: “We are very pleased to become a shareholder in Griffin Premium RE.., which we see as a continuation and deepening of our existing cooperation, with the EBRD having financed Griffin’s student housing development last year. Griffin Premium RE.. is setting an example of how to expand the market into new products and attract investor interest. It is also creating an opportunity for local investors, institutional and retail, to invest in the real estate market in Poland. This transaction is timely and fits very well with the drafting of the new Polish REIT law, and the EBRD is coordinating with the relevant Polish authorities to provide support on that.”

Dorota Wysokińska-Kuzdra, CEO of Griffin Premium RE.., added: “We are delighted to welcome the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as a fellow shareholder. We are particularly pleased that the EBRD participated in the IPO of the first company operating under the REIT business model on the Polish market in the office segment and mixed-use office/retail segment. The EBRD’s interest confirms that Griffin Premium RE.. is attractive to investors seeking stable, regular, predictable returns.”

The EBRD is a multilateral bank committed to the development of market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative in more than 30 countries from Morocco to Mongolia and from Estonia to Egypt. The Bank is owned by 65 countries, the EU and the EIB.

Since the beginning of its operations in Poland in 1991, the EBRD has invested almost €8.5 billion in more than 380 projects in the country. In addition to its wide range of products for banks and companies, in recent years the EBRD has also built a growing portfolio of investments (both equity and debt) in the Polish financial sector, for which demand remains high. 

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