Meridian Seeks to Raise EU170 Million in Warsaw Share Offer

Meridian Properties NV plans to sell 170 million euros ($230 million) of shares in an initial public offering in Warsaw and become the first real estate investment trust traded in the Polish capital.

The Amsterdam-registered trust resumed IPO plans after suspending the transaction in June due to “deteriorating” market conditions. The REIT, which pays investors rental income generated from the properties it owns, plans to sell shares by mid-October, it said in an e-mailed statement today distributed by Warsaw-based CC Group public relations company.

The IPO is set to be among the largest in Warsaw this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. State-owned railway Polskie Koleje Panstwowe SA plans to sell to the public a stake in its cargo unit and the government will offer a 35 percent stake in utility Energa SA in the coming months. The two state sales may be valued at about 5 billion zloty ($1.6 billion), Parkiet newspaper reported this week.

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development is considering buying a stake in its public offering, EBRD spokesman Axel Reiserer said by phone today in London.

The trust will use 87.7 million euros of the IPO proceeds to buy so-called initial portfolio, which includes nine properties in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The REIT will spend a further 57.4 million euros on other real-estate investments as the company is in “advanced” talks to buy two properties in Poland.

Meridian plans to pay out all its funds from operations as a quarterly dividend, while maintaining loan-to-value ratio at 35 percent to 45 percent, it said in the e-mail.

Citigroup Inc. will be the IPO’s global coordinator and the sole bookrunner, while Raiffeisen, Erste Bank and Alpha Bank will be co-lead managers.

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