(Bloomberg) — The head of one of Canada’s largest publicly traded developers said he sees the potential for acquisitions in the US housing market through a new apartment company that he took public in volatile markets.
Michael Cooper’s Dream Residential Real Estate Investment Trust went public in Toronto in early May, raising $125 million amid a selloff in equities and weak demand for new issues. The shares have fallen 14% since then, but Cooper said he was glad to complete the deal and the company can become a vehicle to buy US apartments as conditions improve.
“To really get growing, we need to get market acceptance,” Cooper said in an interview. “I think that getting it done in such a tough market was great. And as we see the market evolve, and people get more comfortable and we get the results out, we’d love to grow it. That’s why we went public — to grow that portfolio.”
Dream Residential manages more than 3,400 units in US Midwest and Sun Belt states, focusing on markets where there are no rent controls. Cooper is betting that strong demand for rental apartments and his ambitions of growing through acquisition will ultimately boost the REIT’s share price.
The offering was the first corporate IPO of more than C$150 million to list on a Canadian exchange this year after 2021 marked a record for public debuts.
On his outlook for this year, Cooper said: “If I had to give a name to 2022, I would say, best case — ugly win. I think the whole year is going to be ugly wins. It’s going to be hard to be elegant and do something so beautiful.”
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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