Edinburgh's Sigma Capital fund closes in on 4,000th rental home milestone

Sigma Capital Group, the Edinburgh-based rental homes specialist in the process of being bought over, has released interim results showing “continuing good progress”.

The firm said its 4,000th new rental home was due to be delivered imminently – four years after the launch of a dedicated real estate investment trust focused on the private rented sector.

During the first half, 956 new homes were delivered, taking the total portfolio within the PRS Reit fund to 3,590, as of the end of March.

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Bosses noted that rental demand and collection rates remained strong.

Edinburgh-headquartered Sigma Capital Group has been behind a string of private rental home and urban regeneration projects across the UK. Picture: Ant Clausen Photography
Edinburgh-headquartered Sigma Capital Group has been behind a string of private rental home and urban regeneration projects across the UK. Picture: Ant Clausen Photography

In terms of self-funded projects, Sigma highlighted five developments under way providing 321 homes. During the period, the group’s first development in Scotland was agreed with local housebuilder Springfield Properties – a 75-unit site within Springfield’s Bertha Park village project on the outskirts of Perth.

Revenues in the first half amounted to £6.6 million, up from £5m in the six months to the end of June 2020, following changes to the firm’s accounting period. Profit before tax rose to £4.1m from £1m previously.

Chief executive Graham Barnet said: “These results reflect Sigma’s continuing good progress. The recent offer for Sigma by PineBridge Benson Elliot LLP was unanimously recommended by Sigma’s independent directors as in the best interests of staff, partners and shareholders as a whole, and is now following due process.”

The takeover move was revealed earlier this month. If the acquisition by pan-European property specialist PineBridge Benson Elliot is approved by shareholders it would mark the loss of another Scottish listed firm from the London stock market.

Sigma, which also has offices in Manchester and London, has already delivered thousands of new family homes for rent south of the Border and launched its first private rental development in Scotland earlier this year.

PineBridge said Sigma, whose shares are listed on the Alternative Investment Market, would continue to operate “materially in the same way” following the takeover, which has been recommended by the boards of both parties.

The firm, which has made the offer through an acquisition vehicle called Six Bidco, said it did not intend to make “any material reduction to the headcount” of Sigma, though its independent directors are expected to step down. The cash offer values Sigma at almost £190m.

Barnet said at the time: “We are delighted that our independent directors intend to recommend this offer from PineBridge Benson Elliot, having reviewed a number of options from other parties.

“Sigma has been a pioneer in the delivery of new, single-family homes in the private rented sector, creating an unrivalled property delivery and management platform.

“We believe we have delivered one of the largest number of new family rental homes in the UK. We also manage the rental of thousands of homes for our partners.

“The need for high-quality, professionally-managed rental homes remains a critical unmet need in the UK.”

Joseph De Leo, managing partner of PineBridge Benson Elliot, added: “Sigma operates in an important part of the market that has shown remarkable resilience over the past year.”

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