Investment Strategy and Policy
Against a backdrop of significant reduction in income security in the UK real estate market, caused by a marked decline in the average term to first tenant lease break or expiry, and mindful of the growing requirement amongst investors for long term, secure income flows, the Board aims to further build on the Group’s existing portfolio of Key Operating Assets to create a substantial diversified long term income portfolio providing stable and growing income and capital returns for its shareholders. The Board defines a long term income stream as one with a weighted average term to maturity in excess of 15 years at the time of acquisition, and income security is assessed by reference either to the financial strength of the tenants or to the extent of asset cover provided by way of residual asset value.
The Board believes that the Company offers attractive geared returns from high quality real estate, with financially strong tenants operating with well established brands in industry sectors with strong defensive characteristics. An important characteristic of the portfolio is that assets acquired are “key operating assets”, meaning they are business critical from the tenant’s perspective. In that way, rental security is more certain as the site in question forms an essential part of the value of the tenant’s own business.
The Board’s intention is for the Group to continue to hold a diversified portfolio of long term, secure income streams from real estate investments across a range of property sectors, enhancing prospects for attractive total returns through earnings accretive acquisitions.
The Board believes that it will be able to seek further acquisition opportunities from a range of sources including operating businesses, non-REITs with latent capital gains fettering sale prospects, and opportunities where the Company’s shares may be used as currency to unlock value. Acquisitions must be accretive to shareholder returns and will be financed with modest leverage and non-dilutive equity issues.