Glenveagh chief steps in to buy stock in homebuilder following sell-off

Justin Bickle’s €106,350 move follows lacklustre market response to latest interim report

Glenveagh said in its first-half report, issued on Monday, that it has spent €479 million buying land for house construction since its flotation.  Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Glenveagh said in its first-half report, issued on Monday, that it has spent €479 million buying land for house construction since its flotation. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

 

Glenveagh Properties chief executive Justin Bickle has stepped into the market to buy €106,350 of shares in the homebuilder in recent days following a lacklustre market response to a solid interim report from the company.

Shares in the company, which floated on the Irish Stock Exchange in October last year, have fallen by as much as 15 per cent to €1.05 in less than two months, after it went about raising €215 million in a share sale to fund more land acquisitions and development.

Mr Bickle’s stock purchases this week were disclosed in stock market filings on Thursday.

On August 9th, Mr Bickle received 8.55 million shares in Glenveagh as a first batch of founder stock, issued to top executives under an incentive plan tied to its €550 million initial public offering (IPO), converted into ordinary shares. The shares were valued at €9.97 million at the time.

The following week, Mr Buckle bought 53,330 shares in the company at €1.15 each as he subscribed to the company’s latest fundraising.

Price target

Colin Sheridan, an analyst at Davy, which worked on Glenveagh’s IPO and recent share sale, said in a report on Thursday that he was increasing his price target on the stock by 8 per cent to €1.47. The analysts said his more optimistic view reflects a fresh focus on a part of the business – known as Glenveagh Living – that aims to build homes in partnership with institutional investors, government entities as well as social and affordable housing landlords.

Mr Sheridan estimates that the Glenveagh Living unit will “be significantly incremental to group returns from full-year 2021 onwards”. As such, it would provide a level of diversification from the group’s core business of building and selling homes individually.

Glenveagh said in its first-half report, issued on Monday, that it has spent €479 million buying land for house construction since its flotation. It has begun building on 12 sites and expects to get under way on a total of 800 homes this year.

Glenveagh was steered on to the stock market by US private equity firm Oaktree, which took an initial 16 per cent stake in the company as it rolled some of its Irish land bank into the vehicle. Oaktree, where Mr Bickle previously was a senior executive, moved in July to sell half its stock into the market.