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New asset class is likely to attract widespread interest
Thursday 21 Oct 2021 Author: Ian Conway

A specialist new real estate investment trust is coming to the AIM market with a focus on UK life science properties in key innovation centres such as the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge and the St Pancras area of central London.

Life Science REIT is looking to raise £300 million to target property assets in what is known as the ‘Golden Triangle’, including laboratories, offices and co-working space, manufacturing and testing facilities and data centres, which should provide ‘strong potential for rental growth over the coming years’.

The trust has already identified £445 million of potential income-generating assets of which just over £300 million are already in exclusive talks or at an advanced stage of negotiation.

It is targeting a net asset value total return of more than 10% per year and an initial dividend yield of 4%, with the intention to increase the payout to 5% in the first couple of years. Leverage will be conservative, with a target loan to value ratio of between 30% and 40%.

Ironstone Asset Management, led by Simon Farnsworth, will advise the trust. With its first-mover advantage and focus on high-quality assets, the aim is to become ‘a first-stop for institutions and private investors alike seeking to add life science real estate exposure to their portfolios’.

The trust has a tiered advisory fee structure starting at 1.1% of NAV (net asset value) and declining to 0.75% of NAV as it grows in scale.

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