SHOPPING centre owner NewRiver Retail announced its second share placing in less than six months yesterday as it looks to continue its buying spree for more retail assets in the regions.
The property company, which owns shopping centres including Regent Court in Leamington Spa and Newlands Shopping Centre in Essex, said it planned to raise gross proceeds of £75m after receiving commitments from institutional investors for more than £50m.
It intends to place 8,301,887 shares at a price of 265p each.
Chief executive David Lockhart said the placing, which comes after a similar £67m fundraising in July, was further evidence of returning confidence and rising demand for quality secondary property in the regions.
“Sentiment has not been kind to the retail sector but investors have realised that the sector is not dead. If you look at general consensus, there is an expectation that retail property in the regions will perform well,” Lockhart said.
NewRiver has made four major acquisitions since July through Bravo, its joint venture with US fund manager Pimco.
It recently bought a portfolio of 202 pubs from Marston’s for £90m, which it plans to turn into more lucrative convenience food stores.
Liberum is the sole bookrunner on the placing, as well as acting as nominated adviser and broker. Leading the team is Simon Atkinson, head of corporate finance, alongside Liberum’s founder and chairman Shane Le Prevost.
Tim Graham and Jamie Richards on Liberum’s corporate finance team are also working on the placing.
Previously at Collins Stewart for 10 years, Atkinson played a key part in building Liberum’s corporate finance business, in particular the firm’s mid-cap and larger clients in the financial services and business support services sectors.
He has worked on public takeovers and mergers, reverse takeovers, acquisitions and disposals and advised NewRiver on its share placing in July last year.
After graduating from the London School of Economics, Atkinson kicked-off his career with Deloitte where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant, working in audit and corporate finance in both London and Hong Kong.
Liberum, which bolstered its team in July after hiring 14 people from Espirito Santo, has won a number of new broking clients of late including NewRiver Retail which appointed Liberum earlier this month.
The appointment comes just months after fellow property company Workspace and Vertu Motors also picked Liberum as their broker.