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Ireland's Green REIT real estate fund sells for 1.34 billion euros

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DUBLIN (Reuters) – UK-based real estate firm Henderson Park is to buy Irish commercial property investment trust Green REIT <GN1.I> in a deal that values the firm at 1.34 billion euros (£1.24 billion), a 25% premium to its share price before the sales process kicked off in April.

The Irish company, which joined the stock market in 2013, was the first of a wave of real estate investment trusts set up as Ireland’s property market began to recover after the country’s real estate crash.

Green REIT put itself up for sale in April because its shares were trading at a discount to the value of its property portfolio.

Henderson Park has agreed to pay 1.9135 euros in cash for each Green REIT share, a 25% premium to Green REIT’s closing share price of 1.53 euro on April 12, the two firms said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The acquisition of Green REIT offers a rare opportunity to invest in a large institutional quality office portfolio and a strategic logistics park through a single transaction,” said Nick Weber, chief executive of Henderson Park, who founded the company in 2016.

“We believe in the short-term and long-term prospects of the Irish market with its strong macroeconomic backdrop and underlying real estate fundamentals,” he said.

Green REIT did not reveal the identity of the other bidders in the sale. The Sunday Times had reported in June that Great-West Lifeco <GWO.TO> owned Irish Life and Kennedy Wilson <KW.N> were in the running.

The acquisition is conditional on approval by Green REIT shareholders.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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