European property reach 8-year high
What do Spanish bank branches, London housing developments and Swedish care homes have in common? They have all been used to seed initial public offerings in the past six months.
Since the start of 2014 Europe’s real estate market has seen the biggest flurry of flotation activity in eight years, with €4.6bn worth of companies going public.
This includes two of the biggest European real estate IPOs over – the €1.25bn float of cash shell Merlin Properties in Madrid, and US-based investment house Kennedy Wilson’s €1.1bn real estate fund launch in London. Only Russia’s PIK Group in 2007 was larger, raising €1.4bn.
The 17 flotation’s so far this year, at least two more are under way, can be broken down into two main types: large cash shells seeking to capitalise on Europe’s economic recovery through rapid asset acquisition sprees and smaller specialists in various types of property, from student housing to retail logistics.
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