MAS Real Estate set to develop historic site in Edinburgh

Posted On Thursday, 12 September 2013 05:45 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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ALTX-listed MAS Real Estate — the Western European property play backed by South African developer Atterbury and life assurer Sanlam — has increased its presence in Scotland with the acquisition of a large tract of development land in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic city centre.

Lukas Nakos MAS Real EstateMAS announced on Tuesday it had acquired 100% of the shares in Artisan IP 10, the company established in 2011 to acquire and develop the site that links Edinburgh’s Royal Mile — the main thoroughfare of the old town — to the city’s main railway station.

MAS previously had a 37.5% stake in Artisan. The company will also acquire council land adjacent to the Artisan site.

MAS MD Lukas Nakos said the site, which spans 6.4ha, will be turned into a vibrant mixed-use precinct including a number of office buildings, retail properties, three hotels, 180 residential units and a new public square.

"The sheer size and scale of the Edinburgh site, lying as it does at the heart of one of the world’s most historic city centres, offers us exceptional opportunities for a high-quality development that does justice to its unique and spectacular setting."

The value of the completed project is estimated at £150m, which will make it the largest asset in the MAS portfolio.

MAS, which listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and AltX in August 2009, owns 20 properties spread across Germany, Switzerland and the UK. The portfolio includes six retail stores in Germany leased to giant supermarket chain Aldi, the head office of global courier company DPD in Switzerland, a student rental housing development at the University of Birmingham in the UK, and two properties in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Edinburgh property forms part of a Unesco World Heritage site.

Mr Nakos said the Edinburgh city council should approve the development by the end of the year. "Following a comprehensive public and civic engagement process, coupled with proposed designs highly sympathetic to the environment for which they are planned, the response of the city and local stakeholders has been largely positive. Everyone welcomes the opportunity to transform one of the city’s most important gap sites."

MAS plans to move from the AltX to the JSE’s main board later this year at the same time that major shareholder Atterbury lists on the JSE. Atterbury has a 23% stake in MAS.

The move to the JSE’s main board is important as it will be accompanied by a broader capital-raising exercise that should increase MAS’s free float and liquidity. The stock has until now been tightly held by directors and associates.

The counter jumped 2.5% on Tuesday, bringing the 12-month share price increase to 55%.

Last modified on Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:49

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