Newly-listed Cromwell European REIT (CEREIT) plans to buy 23 properties across five European countries for a combined total of €384.4m.

CEREIT, which joined the Singapore Securities Exchange late last year, also said it plans to part fund the deals by issuing shares to existing security holders to raise up to €224.1m.

The biggest tranche of the proposed transaction is a 16-office portfolio in the Netherlands, Finland and Poland to be acquired for €312.5m.

CEREIT, which currently manages a portfolio valued at around €1.4bn, is buying two office buildings in Italy for €37.5m, and five logistics properties in France for €34.4m.

Simon Garing, CEO of the manager, Cromwell CEREIT Management, said the acquisitions represent an opportunity to accelerate the growth of CEREIT while also strengthening its defensiveness.

“They will also provide us with access into two new countries (Finland and Poland) that are among the fastest-growing economies in Europe – and deepen our presence in three countries in which we already operate,” he said.

Garing told IPE Real Assets that Cromwell in Europe currently manages 16 of the assets - in Poland, Finland and the Netherlands.

“Knowing the assets give us certainty that we would not get if we were buying them in an auction,” he said.

He added that some of the assets were held under a private equity mandate managed by Cromwell, and that it had reached the end of its term.

Beyond this round of acquisitions, Garing said further opportunities would arise out of the Cromwell-Citylink (part of Bouygues Construction) Logistics Partnership which is rolling out facilities in central Europe.

Brisbane-based Cromwell Property Group - which currently holds a 35.8% stake in CEREIT - has confirmed it will commit AUD120m (€75m) to the placement.

A meeting is scheduled for 15 November to approve the issuance of almost 601m new units, which will be at €0.373 per rights unit.

Cromwell CEO, Paul Weightman, said: “The additional investment is fully consistent with our stated ‘Invest To Manage’ strategy of growing our funds management business.”