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Allan Saunderson is managing editor of Property Finance Europe and a contributor to GlobeSt.com.

ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS-Dutch REIT FBI VastNed Retail has raised €75.6 million through an accelerated bookbuild offering of 1.7 million new shares at a price of €45.50. The proceeds will be used to strengthen the financial position, and enable it to act swiftly to take advantage of attractive acquisition opportunities in investment markets. Its share was last trading just below €45.

Allocation took place on Sept. 11 After settlement VastNed Retail’s issued share capital will consist of 18.3 million of ordinary stock. The shares were offered to institutional and other qualified investors in the Netherlands and abroad through an accelerated bookbuild, on a non pre-emptive basis.

VastNed Retail invests in individual retail properties, shopping centres and retail warehouses located in good locations in the Netherlands, Spain, France and Belgium as well as the growth market Turkey. Invested capital amounted to €1.9 billion as at end-June.

“The present retail property markets do not allow you to sit still,” said CEO Reinier van Gerrevink. “Next to selling non-core properties, which we recently did, it is also the time to look ahead and improve our property portfolio by taking opportunities in our present investment markets. Equity financing enables us to do such in a prudent way, so we can realize our balanced growth in European property.”

Further to the group’s outlook statement in the interim report of Aug. 10 and the equity increase, Vastned Retail said its board of management anticipates a direct investment result in 2009 of around €4 per share. VastNed Retail is a closed-end investment fund with variable capital under Dutch law – in effect, a Real Estate Investment Trust. ING acted exclusively for VastNed Retail in connection with the offering.

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