Charter Hall to buy early learning centres for $75M

Charter Hall to buy early learning centres for $75M

Update: On 27 March, CQE announced the placement was successfully completed, and in light of significant demand was lifted from $100 million to $120 million.

Real estate investor Charter Hall Education Trust (ASX: CQE) will splash out $75.5 million to acquire 13 early learning centres, located primarily in inner-ring metropolitan suburbs.

Two of the centres are already completed, five will be acquired on completion most likely between April and July, and the remaining six are yet to be built with forecast completion between November 2019 and March 2020.

The purchase will be made by subsidiary Charter Hall Social Infrastructure Limited, with funding to come from a $100 million institutional placement.

The placement is higher than the acquisition to account for transaction costs and to "provide balance sheet headroom" to fund CQE's.

In addition, the company is offering an on-underwritten unit purchase plan (UPP) to eligible shareholders in Australia and New Zealand to raise up to $5 million.

Managed by the Charter Hall Group (ASX: CHC), CQE is Australia's largest ASX-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on early learning properties, and after these acquisitions it will have a portfolio of 426 properties worth around $1.12 billion.

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