Larry Goodman continues to build stake in Green Reit

The Businessman’s family investment company picked up 1m shares in the property company on Friday

Beef magnate Larry Goodman: he  has continued to build up a  stake in commercial property company Green Reit. Photograph: Alan Betson

Beef magnate Larry Goodman: he has continued to build up a stake in commercial property company Green Reit. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Beef magnate Larry Goodman has continued to build up his stake in commercial property company Green Reit, spending €1.82 million last Friday on shares in the group which put itself up for sale in April.

A stock exchange filing released on Monday shows Mr Goodman bought one million shares for €1.82 each on Friday through an investment company controlled by the businessman’s family, Vevan Unlimited. That is the highest price at which Vevan has purchased shares in Green Reit since it disclosed late last month that it had breached the 1 per cent level at which shareholders are obliged to disclose their hand under takeover rules.

Previous dealings have been at prices between €1.80 and €1.81.

The price is just fractionally below the €1.83 per share at which the property company valued its assets on a net basis at the end of December. That would appear to limit the potential for Vevan to make gains from the sale of Green Reit shares in a takeover situation.

Shares in Green Reit traded as high as €1.86 in morning trade on Monday, above their previous €1.84 closing high set last week. By mid-afternoon, the stock was trading at €1.834.

The additional one million shares means that Mr Goodman’s company now holds a 2.28 per cent stake in the property group, valued at about €29.1 million.

The Irish Times first reported in May that Californian property company Kennedy Wilson and Irish Life were working on separate bids for Green Reit. Both submitted initial proposals before a deadline of June 12th and are among four parties to have made it through a second round.

Reports elsewhere have suggested that Canadian investment group Brookfield and German funds are among the interested parties. The deadline for second-round offers is July 25th.

Prime portfolio

Green Reit, co-founded by Stephen Vernon and Pat Gunne, became the first Irish real-estate investment trust to float on the Irish stock market when it raised €300 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in July 2013. Legislation paving the way for such trusts in the Republic had been enacted only months earlier.

The group went on to amass a €1.48 billion portfolio of prime office, logistics and development assets, with the help of additional funds raised through the issuance of additional equity and debt.

The portfolio includes Horizon Logistics Park, close to Dublin Airport and the M50 motorway; One Molesworth Street, which is partly let to British bank Barclays and Canadian investment bank TD Securities; and the Central Park office complex in Sandyford, in south Dublin.

Green Reit said in a trading statement on June 24th that it was “pleased” with how the sale process was proceeding and the level of interest expressed in the company to date.

JP Morgan is the lead financial adviser to review any offers, assisted by Davy. CBRE has been appointed as property adviser to the company, and Arthur Cox as legal adviser.