Hansteen to raise 195m to invest in bargain British commercial properties

EUROPEAN property investment firm Hansteen yesterday tapped the market for &pound;194.6m to fund a re-entry into the UK market and take advantage of bargain commercial property investments in the recession.<br /><br />Hansteen&rsquo;s placing of 267.8m shares at 75p a share, fully underwritten by broker KBC Peel Hunt, is the largest secondary fundraising on the Aim market since August 2007.<br /><br />After its completion, Hansteen will rank as the 13th largest listed property company in the sector.<br /><br />&ldquo;These additional funds give us the firepower to take advantage of the exceptional buying opportunities available,&rdquo; said co-founder Ian Watson, who set up the firm with Morgan Jones in 2005 after the pair sold their previous venture, Ashtenne, to Warner Estates.<br /><br />Hansteen has conditionally placed around 89.3m shares with institutional investors, while a further 178.4m have been made available in an open offer, with shareholders able to buy one new share per existing share held.<br /><br />As of the end of May, Hansteen had a Europe-focused property portfolio valued at &euro;495m (&pound;424.2m).