European fund InfraCo Africa snaps up $10 million Acorn hostels stake

Image: Construction Review Online

KENYA – European fund InfraCo Africa is set to buy a $ 10 million stake in student hostels developed by property developer Acorn Holdings.

Documents availed the Business Daily, a daily local newspaper show that InfraCo, owned by the governments of UK, Netherlands and Switzerland is among the investors approached by Acorn to invest in new vehicles that will own the properties.

Acorn is creating a development real estate investment trust (D-Reit) which will build the student hostels.

It is also establishing an investment real estate investment trust (I-Reit) that will acquire the properties and hold them for rental income.

The D-Reit is expected to be worth $ 40 million while the I-Reit’s size is estimated at $ 41 million in the initial fundraising.

Acorn will have stakes of 67 percent and 24 percent in the D-Reit and I-Reit respectively but plans to steadily sell down its ownership over the years.

InfraCo has committed to invest $3 million in the D-Reit and $7 million in the I-Reit.

Acorn plans to raise another $35 million from local institutional investors including insurers and other asset managers.

“Based on work done for the green bond which raised $46 million, we narrowed down to InfraCo Africa as an anchor investor,” Acorn said in the offer documents.

The offer is priced at a range of between $0.2 and $0.25 per unit share.

The minimum investment is $200,000 and will be spread into the D-Reit (30 percent) and I-Reit (70 percent), meaning that one must buy into both investment vehicles.

Acorn expects to close the fundraising in mid-November.

Both Reits will allow investors to trade their holdings on the over the counter (OTC) market.

Acorn says the I-Reit will be listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) after a few years of demonstrating dividend pay-outs and growth of rental income.

It will be the second such property fund to be listed on the NSE after ILAM Fahari I-Reit.

The company has already completed three hostels in Parklands, Ruaraka and along Jogoo Road in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

It plans to build six other projects in various locations including Nairobi West, Karen and Kasarani all in Nairobi.

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