Andrew Coombs. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Andrew Coombs. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Sirius Real Estate, an owner of German flexible office space and storage assets, will move to the main board of the JSE and start trading on the London Stock Exchange in March as part of a plan to boost liquidity and attract large institutional investors.

Sirius is the only pure German property player listed in SA, with assets in Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Mainz and Wiesbaden, among others. It said it would list on the main boards on or around March 6.

With a market capitalisation of €481.265m (R6.89bn), Sirius is widely believed by market watchers to be too large to remain on AltX.

Sirius’s directors said they believed the UK admission and the JSE transfer would "provide a more appropriate platform for the continued growth of the group and further raise its profile and status as a high-quality real estate business".

They said the moves to the larger exchanges would place the company in a better position to achieve improved liquidity in its ordinary shares "due to the higher number of institutional investors who regularly trade in shares of companies admitted to the main market and the main board and the higher profile of such companies".

Sirius said the moves would increase its appeal to a broader range of international investors and, subject to meeting relevant criteria, allow the company to benefit from inclusion in certain indices and develop its corporate governance, regulatory and reporting disciplines.

Sirius invests in flexible offices usually tenanted by small and medium companies. It also operates a growing storage business. Many Germans store their summer holiday goods in Sirius’s units.

CEO Andrew Coombs said recently that Sirius was experiencing increasing demand for office space in northwest Germany from telecom and financial services firms.

Coombs intends to grow the company’s €771m portfolio to about €1.2bn within the next two years. A move to the main board would expose the company to many large institutional investors in SA for the first time, he said.

Sirius was also set to benefit from Brexit as the German real estate market gained popularity, Coombs said.

"Post-Brexit, Germany has fast become the market of choice for many property investors as they seek a safe haven outside of more volatile markets and Sirius is set to benefit from the changing sentiment of managing properties, particularly office and storage space, with flexible solutions," he said.

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