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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Axis REIT eyes properties worth RM566m

AXIS REIT Managers Bhd, which manages the Axis Real Estate Investment Trust (Axis-REIT), is looking to buy properties worth about RM566 million, its chief operating officer and executive director Stewart LaBrooy said today.

“Our focus is in three regions — the Klang Valley, Johor Baru and Penang. We have properties in Penang and are looking to add one to two more good quality industrial assets,” he said.

Of the total, the company hopes to complete RM180 million worth of properties by June 2009, he said.

The company is negotiating for third-party assets worth about RM240 million and looking at several potential properties in the pipeline from private equity, LaBrooy said.

“The purchase of RM180 million worth of properties will be financed by the proposed placement of up to 120 million new units representing approximately 46.9 per cent of the existing units in Axis-REIT,” he told reporters after presenting the company’s first-half results ended June 30, 2008.

The exercise will increase the existing fund size of Axis-REIT from 255.901 million units to about a maximum of 375.901 million units.

The exercise will be in two tranches of 60 million each to match the acquisition timelines. The first tranche will be placed out in the fourth quarter while the second tranche in the second quarter of next year.

According to LaBrooy, the placement will be used to pare down borrowings, freeing up cash to enable the company to purchase the assets that are being lined up.

“At the current pricing, we are looking at raising up to RM200 million for both tranches. The placement strategy will also enable us to cross the RM1.0 billion asset under management for Axis-REIT,” he said.

By Bernama

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