Shares in Hansteen Holdings plc, the property vehicle floated on London’s alternative investment market (AIM) in December 2005, were trading at an 18.5% premium by the end of their first day. This took the market capital of the company from £125m (e183.2m) at offer price to £148.1m.
Hansteen will be investing mainly in continental European industrial assets because, in the opinion of the Hansteen board, they have higher yields, cheaper financing costs, and greater opportunity for value improvement than can be achieved in the UK.
Hansteen also intends to invest in assets in the UK outside the industrial sector, such as land that can be improved by planning gain.
Hansteen Holdings was founded by Morgan Jones and Ian Watson, founders and former directors of UK industrial property developer Ashtenne Holdings PLC.
Morgan Jones said: “Investing principally in continental Europe, we aim to acquire a number of assets to which we can add value through intensive management.
“In the coming years there should be a strong appetite from institutions who are willing to pay a premium for ready-assembled portfolios of high-quality, income-producing properties.”
Increased demand for UK industrial assets led to higher prices and lower yields. The directors believe that this process will be repeated in continental Europe over the next few years and they aim to take advantage of this opportunity.