Canal Walk retailers to study fine print of sale

Posted On Tuesday, 15 July 2003 02:00 Published by Commercial Property News
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Retailers at Canal Walk, the largest shopping centre in Africa, are closely studying the deal in which the centre was sold by Nedcor to Hyprop Investments and Ellerine Bros for R1.16 billion.

Retailers at Canal Walk, the largest shopping centre in Africa, are closely studying the deal in which the centre was sold by Nedcor to Hyprop Investments and Ellerine Bros for R1.16 billion.

Marcel Joubert, the spokesperson for the SA Retailers' Council, said the organisation intended to approach both Nedcor and prospective buyers Hyprop and Ellerine Bros for greater detail on the exact terms of the deal and the underlying philosophy on which Hyprop justified the purchase, particularly as it related to its future conduct towards small retailers.

"Is the R1.2 billion purchase price, for example, predicated on the intention to achieve excessive returns by, for example, increasing rentals of small, independent retailers in the future, thereby continuing the systematic institutional abuse the mom 'n pops have historically endured?" he asked.

"Or are there softer, more co-operative assumptions?

"Based on that, we will decide whether to support or oppose the deal, which is subject to Competition Commission approval."

Joubert said that if the council supported the deal, it might wish to procure assurances regarding the shopping centre's conduct towards small retailers about the issues laid out in the existing complaint.

These were: excessive pricing, abusive dominance, exclusionary conduct and fair trade, particularly insofar as these related to small, independent retailers and the vastly negative effect this had on the government's policies of economic growth, job creation, small business development and the like.

"We have long been concerned at the excessive concentration of property ownership in South Africa, with the abusive practice that results,"Joubert said.

"There are already a number of complaints before the Competition Commission, setting out instances of systematic, ongoing, abuse of dominance by the club of established interests.

"The proposed purchaser is in fact already mentioned in these complaints, as a dominant player."

The council would welcome the opportunity to participate in achieving the ideal situation of large landlord and small traders joining hands to create prosperity for all concerned at Canal Walk.

Joubert said it would achieve this by working with the prospective purchaser, whoever that may be, to create a model shopping centre that would serve as an inspiration for progressive, visionary landlord/ tenant co-operation for every shopping centre in the country.

Last modified on Thursday, 06 June 2013 17:22

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