JOHANNESBURG - JSE-listed property fund Vukile escalated its accelerated book build almost two times on the back of strong demand for its stock.

The company initially planned to put R400million worth of shares, but upped the book build to R700m within a few hours.

It said it wanted to use cash generated from the sale to fund asset management opportunities at its Spanish subsidiary Castellana Properties Socimi.

“The money is likely to be used for brownfields and asset management opportunities with the existing portfolio,” a spokesperson for the company said.

Last year Vukile doubled its retail property investments in Spain after agreeing to acquire a portfolio of four shopping centres for R7.1billion.

The company described the transaction as transformative and accretive, adding that it would boost its offshore exposure to above 40percent.

The group raised R1.63bn through the placing of 86.7million new shares in an oversubscribed accelerated book build process.

In February, Vukile appointed Laurence Cohen, a chartered accountant and former financial director of listed retail property fund Hyprop for almost 15 years as chief financial officer and a member of Vukile’s board effective from July.

Yesterday, the share price eased 1.09percent to close at R20.02 on the JSE, following the release of the first announcement, much in line with the 0.11percent decline in the JSE Africa Real Estate Investment Trust Index.

Vukile said that the new book build would remain subject to approval from shareholders at its annual general meeting in August.