REI aims to grow property portfolio to £200 million

Real Estate Investors plc (REI) has set its sights on growing the company’s portfolio to over £200 million in the next six months.

The news comes as REI announced that on top of previously reported property sales totaling £12.025 million in 2015, it has just sold two further properties from its non-core portfolio.

The sale of a property in Surrey for £2.5 million and a property in Watford for £1.5 million has netted a further £4 million for its warchest.

REI chief executive Paul Bassi said: “Both properties are located outside of the company’s core markets of central Birmingham and the Midlands, and were made at levels above their book values.

He added: “These recent sales are debt free and non–core. The sales receipts will provide additional capital to capture criteria compliant property in our current pipeline of acquisitions, where we have over £20 million of new purchases under offer or in legal process.

“In line with our strategy, we remain on track to grow our portfolio to in excess of £200 million within the next six months.”

REI plans to announce half year results for the six months ended June 30, 2015, on September 16.

In April 2015, REI raised £45 million to capitalise on market opportunities from some of the City’s leading investors including Invesco Perpetual, J O Hambro, Henderson and Ruffer and has seen its share price grow some ten per cent since the placing.

The company invests in shops, offices and residential property opportunities, for rental income and capital growth, in Birmingham, the Black Country and the wider Midlands.  Tenants across the diverse portfolio include government bodies, national multiples and other high quality covenants on long leases.

Mr Bassi believes that REI, now a Real Estate Investment Trust, is set to benefit from rising demand from institutional and overseas investors for regional real estate and the re-emergence of Birmingham and the West Midlands economy.  Major employers HSBC, Deutsche Bank and HS2 have recently announced relocations to the city.

Birmingham’s commercial market has enjoyed a record year with over 1,000,000 sq ft of grade A space being snapped up in the last 12 months and the West Midlands recorded its best year for foreign investment in a decade.

REI sales this year have included 24 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, 770-772 Bristol Road South in Northfield, Birmingham, 85-89 Colmore Row, Birmingham, 150 Birmingham Road, West Bromwich and 36 Great Charles Street, Birmingham.