Grainger Trust, the quoted residential property company, is in talks to buy a £71.6m portfolio of retirement properties.

Grainger’s subsidiary Grainger Retirement Housing today made an offer to shareholders of The Capital Appreciation Trust, an Isle of Man-domiciled open

ended investment company which owns the 912 retirement properties.

The 145.86p-a-share cash offer is conditional upon completion of a share purchase agreement between Grainger and Close Investments relating to two Close companies which undertake property management and related activities for the trust and hold the title to many of the properties owned by the trust. The first closing date of the offer 28 December. JPMorgan Cazenove is acting as sole financial adviser and corporate broker to Grainger

The 912 properties are subject to lifetime leases or are vacant. Most are one-bed flats in McCarthy & Stone developments, and more than half are in the south east.

Grainger chief executive Rupert Dickinson said: ‘This will be our first major acquisition in the increasingly important retirement home sector and fits well with our existing home reversion business.

‘We also want to investigate ways of introducing more flexible tenure into the retirement home sector through a range of options, from rental, lifetime lease, through to shared equity. We think it is now becoming as important to offer elderly homeowners flexibility in stepping off the housing ladder as it has become for first time

buyers to get that first step up.’