Home » Kenyan real estate mogul Edward Kirathe’s Acorn to transfer $24.8 million worth of properties to I-REITs

Kenyan real estate mogul Edward Kirathe’s Acorn to transfer $24.8 million worth of properties to I-REITs

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Edward Kirathe

Acorn Holdings, a Nairobi-based property developer founded by Kenyan real estate tycoon Edward Kirathe, has unveiled its plans to transfer two completed hostel properties valued at $24.8 million to its Investment Real Estate Investment Trusts (I-REITs) by the end of this year, following the completion of the projects.

The two properties, Qwetu Hurlingham and Qwetu Aberdare Heights II, both developed under Acorn Holdings’ Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) initiative, are strategically located in Hurlingham and USIU Road, within Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya.

In a recently published semi-annual report by the Nairobi-based property developer, Qwetu Hurlingham, boasting an impressive 832-bed capacity, was valued at Ksh2.08 billion ($14.57 million) at the end of June. On the other hand, Qwetu Aberdare Heights II, offering accommodation for 601 students, was valued at Ksh1.46 billion ($10.2 million), resulting in a combined total property value of Ksh3.54 billion ($24.8 million).

The plan for the disposal of both Qwetu Hurlingham and Qwetu Aberdare Heights II involves obtaining the necessary approvals for exit into the ASA I-REIT. The finalization of this transaction is anticipated to occur in the second half of 2023, as indicated by Acorn Holdings in their semi-annual report.

Acorn Holdings Africa further disclosed that out of the proceeds from the Hurlingham hostel transfer, a sum of Ksh860.6 million ($6.03 million) will be utilized to settle debt associated with the project, acquired through the issuance of the Acorn Green Bond. This strategic move aims to bolster the company’s standing within the competitive real estate market.

Established in 2001 by Kirathe, Acorn Holdings Africa has undertaken and successfully delivered more than 65 projects during its two-decade tenure. Presently, the company manages assets valued at Ksh11.8 billion ($82.7 million).

With a significant portfolio of 17 properties comprising a total of 17,000 PBSA beds and 6,000 fully operational beds across nine properties, Acorn, under the leadership of Edward Kirathe, is particularly focused on projects within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, encompassing Nairobi County and its adjoining counties.

Kirathe, a top figure in Kenya’s real estate sector, boasts an extensive 25-year experience in the East African Real Estate domain. Under his guidance, Acorn made history in October 2019 by issuing Africa’s first Green Housing Bond.

Subsequently, in January 2020, the bond became the first Green Bond to be listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), followed by being the first Kenya Shilling Bond to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Continuing its streak of achievements, in February 2021, Acorn Holdings Africa, under the leadership of Kirathe, successfully launched the Acorn Student Accommodation D-REIT and I-REIT. The management of these REITs falls under Acorn Investment Management Limited (AIML), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acorn Holdings Ltd.

As Acorn takes another significant step toward expanding its I-REITs, the company remains steadfast in its mission to redefine the property landscape in Kenya’s bustling capital city.

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