PROPERTIES around the Gold Coast’s health and knowledge precinct are the target of a new Washington H Soul Pattinson-backed direct property and equity fund.
URB Investments director Tom Millner, son of Soul Pattinson and Brickworks chairman Rob Millner; and fellow director and portfolio manager Will Cuthbert, were on the Gold Coast this week meeting investors.
URB is undertaking an IPO roadshow as it seeks to raise between $75 million and $300 million ahead of its planned ASX listing on April 7.
The fund is targeting “undervalued, underdeveloped and under-utilised” properties – in particular those set to benefit from significant infrastructure spending, rezoning from low to high density, redevelopment opportunities – that can be bought at attractive prices.
Mr Millner said the area around Griffith University in the health and knowledge precinct is “ripe for regeneration”.
“The Gold Coast has significant tourism growth, specialist medical and university precincts and the upcoming Commonwealth Games,” he said.
“After the Sydney Olympics, a new city was virtually created out of nothing and we expect the same will happen on the Gold Coast.
“There are opportunities to deploy cash into older areas set for renewal. “We are particularly keen to look at the Parklands area as an urban renewal project.” Mr Cuthbert said URB, which has a co-investment agreement with Soul Pattinson, will hold a long-term portfolio mix of direct property and land assets as well as listed equities such as development, medical stocks, toll roads and supermarkets linked to urban renewal.
URB is looking to buy into about 30 listed equities. It has identified a number of southeast Queensland companies as having positive exposure to major urban renewal and infrastructure investment under way, including Gold Coast developer Villa World, Seymour Whyte and Transurban.
It is not targeting resource or bank stocks.
URB has three seed property assets in Sydney worth $59 million. It hopes to add Gold Coast properties to the mix.
Contact Asset Management, fully owned by Mr Millner, Will Culbert and Soul Pattinson, the second-oldest ASX-listed company which manages investments of more than $6 billion, will have overall portfolio management of the URB fund.
Soul Pattinson has committed to subscribe for a minimum of 10 per cent of the offer.
Mr Millner said URB will enable investors to gain exposure to property deals that were previously only available to developers and institutional investors.
“The minimum investment is only $2200, so URB provides a great opportunity for mum-and-dad shareholders,” he said.