Bahrain’s GFH acquires residential tower in US for $90m

The company finalised the deal in a joint venture with Broadshore Capital Partners

GFH Financial Group, an investment bank based in Bahrain, has bought a new building in the US for $90 million as it expands the size of its property portfolio in the world’s largest economy.

The company acquired the residential tower in Baltimore in a joint venture with Broadshore Capital Partners, GFH said in a statement on Sunday to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

Broadshore is owned by Guardian Life, a New York-based Fortune 500 company with more than $71 billion of assets under management.

“The US multifamily residential property sector is a significant opportunity for GFH and our investors,” said Razi Al Murbati, chief executive of GFH Capital.

“The segment demonstrated clear resilience during the pandemic, compared to most other parts of the real estate market, which experienced a decline.”

GFH, which has more than $13bn in assets and funds under management, is boosting its investments around the globe.

Earlier this year, it acquired a $100m student housing portfolio affiliated with several top universities in the US as part of its expansion plans.

It also bought a US warehousing and distribution logistics centre for $100m in June and is awaiting shareholder approval to fully acquire Bahrain-based Khaleeji Commercial Bank.

GFH's latest acquisition in Baltimore follows a strong performance of the multifamily sector in the US, with rents rising 0.6 per cent in March on an annual basis, according to the company. More than $140bn of capital was invested in the multifamily sector during 2020.

The investment bank is also looking to acquire “a diverse set of residential properties across the US, which will vary in terms of location, size, and local demographics to generate stable cash flows”, Mr Al Murbati said.

“Our ambitious but calculated real estate strategy favours resilience and is focused on delivering growth and value creation for stakeholders.”

The company more than doubled its net profit for the second quarter of 2021, driven by growth across its business units despite the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Separately, the company said it repurchased 7.75 million of its Treasury shares on the Bahrain and Dubai bourses. The acquisition represents 4.9 per cent of the total issued shares as of October 28, 2021.

Updated: October 31st 2021, 9:19 AM
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