Bahrain’s GFH Capital acquires $125m US property portfolio

GFH Capital, a part of Bahrain based GFH Financial Group, has signed a deal to buy a US$125 million industrial real estate portfolio in the United States.

The portfolio includes 18 income producing assets diversified across six states.

GFH, which part owns English football club Leeds United, said that the portfolio currently has an overall occupancy rate of 98 per cent and is expected to return an average cash-on-cash yield of 8.5 per cent and an internal rate of return of 10 per cent.

The portfolio is GFH’s second investment in the USA made over the last twelve months.

Last year the company bought a portfolio of 1,288 apartments in three multifamily housing complexes – Las Villas and Alta Vista in Houston and Ansley at Princeton Lakes in Atlanta. At the time GFH said that it had acquired the blocks due to their proximity to large and growing infrastructure assets.

“The real estate sector in the US has attractive dynamics and our investments there have already delivered strong returns and dividends to investors,” said Hisham Alrayes, managing director of GFH Capital.

With this transaction, we are creating another compelling opportunity for the group and our investors who are seeking strong, steady cash yields, potential for capital appreciation and effective portfolio diversification,” he added.

The move comes as GFH whose shares are listed in Bahrain, Dubai and Kuwait, attempts to reshape its operations after the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

Last year the company reported a return to profitability with an annual consolidated profit of $17m, compared with a loss of $17.6m for 2013. It was the company’s highest profit since 2008.

In April GFH completed a capital reduction to $598m from $1.49 billion to eliminate its accumulated losses.

The company is ploughing ahead with $1.8bn worth of real estate projects spanning five countries: UAE, Bahrain, Tunisia, Morocco and India.

GFH sold 75 per cent of Leeds United to Italian Massimo Cellino in April 2014 but retains the remaining 25 per cent in the club.

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