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Pretoria - Vukile, the listed real estate investment trust (Reit), is poised to acquire a 200 million euros (R2.96 billion) retail portfolio spread across Spain.

Laurence Rapp, chief executive of Vukile, said on Wednesday that it was actively exploring this opportunity in Spain and hoped to close this transaction in the next three months.

Rapp added that Vukile had a “war chest” of R1.5 billion, comprising cash and existing debt facilities, that it would be deploying offshore.

“That effectively gives us an immediate about R3 billion capacity for offshore acquisitions,” he said.

Rapp said Vukile would be deploying its capital internationally in the UK and in Spain. “In the year ahead, Vukile will look to increase its international exposure to developed Europe by pursuing both the UK and Spanish markets,” he said.

The UK exposure will be driven through its strategic 29.56 percent shareholding in Atlantic Leaf. Vukile in December purchased 86.89 percent of the shares in Castellana, an unlisted Spanish Reit for R193 million. The balance of the shareholding in Castellana of 13.11 percent is owned by the Morze family, led by Lee Morze, a successful South African property entrepreneur now resident in Spain.

Read also: Vukile sits with R1.5bn to deploy internationally

Rapp said Vukile had the platform and intention to expand its presence in Spain but the strategy was about building a business in that country.

Vukile on Wednesdays reported a 7.1 percent growth in distributions a share to 156.75 cents in the year to March from 146.35c in the previous year.

Shares in Vukile rose 2.01 percent on the JSE to close at R19.25.

BUSINESS REPORT