Life Science REIT plans GBP300mln London IPO

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Life Science REIT PLC is looking to raise GBP300mln in an initial public offering (IPO) on the AIM market of London Stock Exchange to become the first London-listed real estate investment trust focused on UK life science properties


In a statement, the company said the IPO will comprise 300mln shares priced at 100p per share, which will be offered through a placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer. The shares are expected to be admitted to AIM in mid-November.


Life Science REIT said it has identified a pipeline of projects amounting to GBP445mln, of which around GBP305mln is under exclusivity or in an advanced state of negotiations.


The group will focus on investment in the so-called Golden Triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London’s St Pancras, which are key innovation centres for life science companies. This will place the investment trust’s assets close to some of the world’s top universities for life science innovation and near world-leading research and teaching hospitals.


A supply and demand imbalance for specialist properties in this area should ensure strong potential for rental growth over the coming years, the company said.


It plans to invest in wet and dry laboratories, offices and co-working space, manufacturing and testing facilities, and data centres.


It is targeting a net asset value (NAV) total annual return in excess of 10% and an initial dividend yield of 4% a year, rising to 5% in the early years.


The company will aim for a loan to value ratio (LTV) of between 30%-40%.


Life Science REIT said it appointed Ironstone Asset Management Ltd as its investment adviser, which includes a management team with long-standing UK real estate sector experience, led by Simon Farnsworth.


Commenting on the IPO, Life Science REIT chair Claire Boyle said: “The UK’s increasing focus on life science spending has led to increased demand for high quality real estate in key locations, a focus that has been sharpened by the global experience of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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