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United Hampshire US Reit lodges preliminary prospectus

UNITED Hampshire US Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) has lodged a preliminary prospectus to list a US-focused Singapore Reit on the Singapore Exchange, the Reit manager said on Tuesday.

United Hampshire US Reit has a portfolio of 22 properties on the east coast of the US, consisting of 18 grocery and necessity-based retail properties and four self-storage properties.

The portfolio has an occupancy of 95.2 per cent as at Sept 30, and the grocery and necessity-based properties have a long weighted average lease expiry by base rental income of 8.4 years. Tenants include some of the largest grocers, wholesalers, home improvement retailers and discount retailers in the US, such as Walmart, LA Fitness, Home Depot and Lowe's Companies.

All but one of the properties are freehold, and the recession-resistant, cycle-agnostic nature of grocery and necessity retail and self-storage as well as growth in consumption in the US give the portfolio a "balance of defensive attributes", the manager said.

The initial portfolio has an aggregate net lettable area of approximately 3.17 million square feet and an appraised value of approximately US$599.2 million.

Projected distributable income for the Reit is US$24.5 million in the 10 months from March 1 to Dec 31, 2020, and US$30.5 million in 2021. Net property income is forecast to be US$33.3 million for the 10-month period in 2020 and US$41.7 million in 2021.

The Reit's two units in issue before the offering are held by the Reit manager and Gerard Yuen Wei Yi, who is the Reit manager's chief financial officer.

Cornerstone investors include Kuang Ming Investments, Kasikorn Asset Management, Bangkok Life Assurance Public, and Chiu Hong Keong and Khoo Yok Kee, managing director and executive director respectively of Malaysian piling and foundation specialist Pintaras Jaya Berhad.

The Reit manager's board of directors includes former StarHub CEO Tan Tong Hai as independent chairman.

The Reit's two sponsors are UOB Global Capital, a subsidiary of UOB, and Hampshire US Holdco, a subsidiary of The Hampshire Companies.