JSE-listed MAS Real Estate has raised €300 million in an inaugural five-year senior unsecured ‘Green Bond’, adding to its strong and liquid balance sheet.
The bond issue places MAS in an exclusive but limited pool of much larger companies that have successfully accessed the international bond markets.
Book building took place over a single day, on Wednesday the 12th of May 2021, and it attracted investment from several leading global asset managers and investors.
MAS’ strong financial position, as also indicated by its corporate ratings, Ba1(stable) from Moody’s and BB (positive) from Fitch, as well as the participation of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development as an investor contributed to the success of the issuance.
“Of the €300 million, approximately €140 million will be used to repay existing secured finance on CEE assets and the balance will be used for further accretive CEE investments” says Martin Slabbert, CEO of MAS Real Estate.
“As a management team, we always had sustainability at the forefront of our thinking. Our assets are managed with a long-term-hold mindset and therefore it makes economic sense to think of our investments in a sustainable manner. As a result, MAS obtained green certifications for all its CEE assets, making it the only JSE listed property company with this level of certification”.
MAS’ strategy focuses on benefitting from long-term consumption growth in CEE which facilitates retail and residential development opportunities. MAS currently has an interest in twelve operational open-air and enclosed malls in CEE (five partially owned via the DJV) and seven strip malls, comprising more than 367,000m² GLA in Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland.
The company has several legacy properties in Western Europe (WE) which are in process of disposal, with proceeds to further augment expansion in CEE.
“This strategy is derived from the close correlation, in commercial property, between rental income and consumption, where CEE is outperforming,” concludes Slabbert.