Plans for the float of the APN Retail Convenience REIT appears to be gathering momentum with the group expected to lodge its prospectus within the next month.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS are raising $150 million for the float of APN’s portfolio comprising Puma Energy petrol stations.

The non-deal road has now been finalised and the next stage of the deal is expected to be a test for market conditions.

The closest comparison is Viva Energy, which floated last year. It listed as a company worth $1.52bn with shares priced at $2.20 and yesterday it closed at $2.40.

Generally speaking, property trusts have performed well in their months after listing since a spate of new real estate managers hit the boards in the past two years. Among them are the Charter Hall Long WALE REIT, Centuria, Industria and GPT’s Metro fund.

They have proved popular among investors in search of high-yielding opportunities amid a low interest rate environment.

The Melbourne-based APN Property Group has a $2.4bn funds empire and the latest listed fund is thought to be worth about $350m.

APN struck up the partnership with Puma Energy for the float and has been building on a $106m portfolio of petrol stations it acquired for an unlisted venture last year.

They will be listed along with about $80m worth of assets to be drawn from the unlisted APN Property Plus Portfolio, as well as additional Puma-branded petrol stations the manager is assembling.

Puma Energy’s parent group is an oil supplier across five continents and had global sales last year of more than $US12.7bn ($16.75bn).

In Australia, Puma Energy operates or supplies over 240 retail sites and 22 depots.

APN is likely to maintain a significant stake in the trust once it is listed, sources said.

It comes as Oporto Chicken owner Craveable Brands is set to hit the ASX boards in July.

Extracted from The Australian.