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Property Developer Centum RE Secures US$150m Investment From GEM Global Yield

KENYA – Centum Real Estate Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centum Investment company, has signed an agreement with GEM Global yield, the Luxembourg-based private alternative investment group, to provide Centum Real Estate with a share subscription facility of up to Shs17 billion  (US$150 million) for a 36-month term.

Global Emerging Markets (GEM) is a US$3.4 billion alternative investment group with operations in Paris, New York, and the Bahamas.

The equity investment which is subject to Centum’s public listing will allow the real estate firm to draw down funds by issuing shares of common stock to GEM.

In a press statement, 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

Mworia 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.

The share subscription facility will allow Centum to draw down funds by issuing shares of common stock to GEM.

Centum will control the timing and the maximum size of such drawdowns and has no minimum drawdown obligation.

The company is excited to welcome a global institutional investor of the caliber of GEM which has committed to making a very sizeable equity investment into the business.

It validates the attractiveness of the market opportunity that Centum Real Estate is pursuing in providing housing across Sub Sahara Africa where there is a very significant unmet demand.

Centum Real Estate is currently developing over 1,400 homes, many of which have already been completed.

Another 3,000+ homes are in the pipeline to be developed in the near term.

Additionally, Centum holds bulk development rights across its land banks for its future housing development and for sale to other real estate developers.

James Mworia added that this commitment by GEM to invest in Centum Real Estate is in line with Centum’s mission to build extraordinary African enterprises and to provide a channel through which investors can access them.

“We are proud of what we have achieved in building a market-leading company that is playing a critical role in providing housing across East Africa and the vision is to scale it up across the continent,” Mworia said.

He added that the commitment by GEM is a major vote of confidence in Centum Real Estate and its business model and this investment will go a great way in significantly scaling up the business.

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