Atlantic Leaf appealing as a growth play

Posted On Monday, 20 July 2015 12:39 Published by
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One offshore real estate play that may start to appear more regularly on fund managers' radars is Atlantic Leaf Properties.

Paul Leaf-Wright

With an ever-growing pool of rand-hedge property counters to choose from, JSE investors are bound to become increasingly picky in their stock selection. One offshore real estate play that may start to appear more regularly on fund managers’ radars is Atlantic Leaf Properties. The share price is already up 11% over the past month, no doubt on the back of recent acquisitions.

With an initial market cap of less than R300m, the company’s listing on the AltX and the Mauritius Stock Exchange in April last year went largely unnoticed. But management has in recent months grown assets aggressively. So far, in July alone, the company concluded UK deals worth £107,5m (R2bn), pushing the total value of its property portfolio to £130,5m. The portfolio consists of 40 properties, mostly retail warehouse and distribution centres in outlying areas throughout the UK such as Brecon and Wombourne.

Atlantic Leaf also owns a portfolio of listed Reits, such as French shopping centre owner Unibail-Rodamco and FTSElisted The British Land Company. The current £130,5m asset value far exceeds the growth target that CEO Paul Leaf-Wright set when Atlantic Leaf listed just more than a year ago. At the time, Leaf-Wright said he hoped to grow assets to around £100m within two to three years.

The Cape-based chartered accountant is the founder of corporate advisory group Leaf Capital, which recently sold a R4,7bn portfolio of mostly Western Cape-based properties to Redefine Properties. The group’s property focus has now clearly shifted to building an offshore presence through Atlantic Leaf.

“We will continue with our efforts to raise further capital to support our growth target of another two to three transactions before year-end,’’ says Leaf-Wright. Atlantic Leaf plans to start paying a sterling-based dividend in the financial year to endFebruary 2016.

Source: Financial Mail

Last modified on Monday, 20 July 2015 16:22
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