UK's Home REIT says two tenant firms enter voluntary liquidation
(Reuters) - UK housing provider Home REIT Plc said on Monday two of its tenants have entered into creditors' voluntary liquidation, adding to worries for the firm as tries to fend off a short-seller attack and reviews a sale.
The housing provider for the homeless said Gen Liv UK CIC and Lotus Sanctuary CIC have entered into voluntary liquidation and the company was in talks with prospective tenants to take on new leases for the two portfolios.
It said Lotus Sanctuary CIC accounted for 12.5% of its annual rent roll while Gen Liv UK CIC accounted for 5.7%
Lotus Sanctuary and Gen Liv did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Home REIT has been under scrutiny over the last few months after a short-seller report by Viceroy Research questioned the ability of Home REIT's tenants to pay rent among other issues.
The company last month said it received an unsolicited takeover approach, adding that any offer by London-based Bluestar Group Ltd, an investment firm focused on pan-European real estate-backed businesses, was likely to be in cash.
Bluestar has until March 16 to announce a firm offer or walk away.
The scathing report by Viceroy, best known for raising the alarm on Germany's Wirecard, in November also had questioned valuation levels of Home REIT's assets.
Viceroy also raised doubts about Gen Liv's ability to service Home REIT leases and referred to the low quality of services provided by the women-focused housing provider Lotus, citing a submission by the Women’s Aid Federation of England.
In January, Home REIT had said Big Help Group - its largest tenant - and Noble Tree Foundation had not paid rent contractually for the quarter to Nov. 30, and the company was looking at options to obtain payment.
The company has missed a deadline to publish its annual results and trading in the firm's shares has been suspended since Jan. 3.
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by Rashmi Aich and Jason Neely)