Centum Real Estate Secures KSh17 Bn Facility from GEM; Plans to List

Centum Real Estate has signed an agreement to raise Sh17 billion from Luxembourg-based private equity firm GEM Global Yield LLC CSC through a partial share sale.

Centum Real Estate Limited on Tuesday said it has signed an agreement with private alternative asset group, GEM Global Yield LLC, to provide a common share subscription facility of up to KShs 17 billion for a 36-month term

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Centum Investment company also said it plans to list at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and the agreement with GEM underwrites the listing process. 

According to Centum Real Estate, if the Ksh 17 billion will be utilised efficiently, it will equal the purchase of significant minority shares.

“The share subscription facility will allow Centum Re to draw down funds by issuing shares of common stock to GEM. Centum Re will control the timing and the maximum size of such drawdowns and has no minimum drawdown obligation.”

Mr James Mworia, Centum’s Managing Director indicated that the investment validates the market opportunity pursued by the firm in providing housing in Sub Saharan Africa whose demand is barely met.

“We are quite pleased with this development and look forward to attracting even more investors into Centum Real Estate,” Mworia said.

He added that the provision will enable the firm to achieve its mission of building African enterprises and provide a platform where investors can access them.

The commitment by GEM, he said,  is a major vote of confidence in the firm and its business model noting that the investment will go a great way in significantly scaling up the business of the firm.

“The move provides independent market validation of the attractiveness of the firm’s model, demonstrates the depth of investor interest, and helps in strengthening market confidence of the business model,” he added.

Under the agreement, Centum will control the timing and maximum size of the funds with no limited obligation.

GEM, the USD3.4 bn firm has previously provided equity investment in various projects, managing a diverse set of investment vehicles focused on emerging markets across the world.