Rebosis Property Fund secures Ascension Properties as a subsidiary and eyes expansion

Posted On Wednesday, 26 August 2015 10:25 Published by
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Black-owned real estate investment trust Rebosis Property Fund finally secures Ascension Properties as a subsidiary, enabling it to expand its office portfolio.

         Sisa Ngebulana

AFTER a drawn-out process, black-owned real estate investment trust (Reit) Rebosis Property Fund has finally secured Ascension Properties as a subsidiary, enabling it to expand its office portfolio.

Rebosis says it now plans to roll out an aggressive acquisition strategy, having recently bought a controlling stake in New Frontier Properties, which has become its investment arm in the UK.

Rebosis CEO Sisa Ngebulana said yesterday the fund had successfully acquired the entire issue of Ascension “B” shares in terms of a scheme of arrangement.

“Rebosis now effectively holds approximately 59% of the entire issued share capital of Ascension. Accordingly, Ascension is now a listed subsidiary of Rebosis.”

While Ascension’s “A” units were still listed, Mr Ngebulana said eventually Rebosis would like to own all of the fund.

Ascension exposes Rebosis to various Western Cape tenanted buildings. Ascension also owns office buildings in downtown Johannesburg and Pretoria. Its portfolio includes 28 properties valued at close to R4bn.

The takeover follows Rebosis and Delta Property Fund both trying to acquire Ascension last year. At one point there was the possibility of a triple merger between all three, but eventually Delta agreed to sell all its interests in Ascension to Rebosis.

Mr Ngebulana said the takeover of Ascension would help cement Rebosis as a mid-sized property group. “We are growing healthily. We like Ascension’s assets and while we have largely had a retail bias, these assets enhance overall returns for our unitholders.”

Meago Asset Management executive director Thabo Ramushu said recently the Ascension deal was a good move for Rebosis as it strengthened its portfolio. Rebosis also owns about 62% of New Frontier Properties, which has a primary listing on the Mauritius stock exchange. It has a secondary inward listing on the JSE’s AltX.

New Frontier CEO Mike Riley said yesterday the fund, which already owned two shopping centres in the UK towns of Middlesbrough and Burton, was set to acquire a third in Blackpool.

“We will soon have three shopping centres, which will be about 1.2-million square metres in size. We believe we are growing healthily and in six months’ time, our total assets should be worth £500m. In 18 months, that should grow to £1bn,” Mr Riley said.

Mr Ngebulana said the Frontier pipeline provided diversification for Rebosis. 

“This will give sizeable scope to the overall Rebosis fund. We are very excited about the healthy pipeline at New Frontier. It is beneficial to have exposure to offshore property, especially UK property returns given how weak the rand is now,” Mr Ngebulana said.

Rebosis also announced yesterday that it had made a special distribution of 38c per ordinary share.Ma’alot Investments portfolio manager Maurice Shapiro said last week many South African funds were starting to invest abroad, which gave options to investors.

Investors needed to think in a “global manner” and ensure their portfolios included both offshore and local listed property exposure, he said.

Source: BD

Last modified on Thursday, 27 August 2015 11:46

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