FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain
JOHANNESBURG - Grit, the JSE-listed pan-African property income company focusing on African real estate assets excluding South Africa, has raised $132.09million (R1.74billion) ahead of its scheduled listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) today.

The capital was raised through a private placement of 92.37million ordinary shares, with the proceeds of the listing to be used to grow Grit’s portfolio in Ghana and other regions and to reduce gearing.

Grit said it had access in Ghana to a high-quality pipeline of assets. The company added that application had been made for 306.39million ordinary shares to be admitted to trading on the main market of the LSE, comprising the 214.02million ordinary shares currently in issue and the ordinary shares issued under the private placement.

Bronwyn Corbett, a founder member and chief executive of Grit, said the planned listing on the LSE would create a compelling opportunity for UK and other equity investors to gain exposure to the African real estate sector, which offered some of the best returns in the global property market.

Corbett said this exposure to real estate investment assets in pre-selected African countries was underpinned by predominantly US dollar and euro denominated long-term leases with high-quality tenants delivering strong and sustainable income.

Grit said it was targeting a US dollar total return of about 12percent a year and a dividend for the six months to end June this year of about 5.9 US cents a share.

It said it had paid eight dividends since its launch in 2014.

Corbett said they were delighted to be making their debut on the LSE and proud to be the first London listed pan-African real estate group.

“Grit has achieved another key milestone in its development and we look forward to continue to work with our new UK based investors in the years to come as we seek to take advantage of the further opportunities for real estate investment assets in pre-selected African countries,” she said.

Once listed on the LSE, Grit would hold primary listings on the JSE, the LSE and Stock Exchange of Mauritius. Corbett said earlier this month that Grit had a proven track record of generating income from its selective and diversified range of assets, built through their close and detailed understanding of the region’s property investment environment.

Shares in Grit closed unchanged on the JSE yesterday at R17.20.