Ambit acquires stake in Oryx

Posted On Thursday, 15 January 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Firm's goal is to diversify outside SA

Property-Housing-ResidentialSoon-to-be-listed property loan stock company Ambit Properties, a joint initiative of Absa Commercial Property Finance and Marriott Holdings, has acquired a 28,87% stake in Namibian-listed Oryx Properties for R62,8m.

The decision to acquire a stake in Oryx is part of Ambit's strategy to spread its risk and to "buy good quality investments with great potential", said CEO Nick Harris.

Ambit is set to be listed on the JSE Securities Exchange SA on February 4 this year.

Harris, who was an executive director of Marriot Property Services, but has since left to head Ambit, explained yesterday that when Absa and Marriott were putting the fund together they decided to look at diversifying the portfolio outside SA.

"Oryx was a very good opportunity, and Ambit approached a number of Oryx unitholders. We found that most of the Namibian asset managers wanted to continue to hold their stake, but there were a number of vendors of property into Oryx who were sellers of their units," Harris said.

He said Ambit would be issuing units for Oryx units.

The stake in Oryx represents about 11% of Ambit's total assets.

"Oryx is in a process of converting some of its SA-listed stocks into direct property. We see it as a conduit to invest in good Namibian properties."

In its abridged prospectus, which was released yesterday, Ambit also announced that it intended to "hold no more than 30% of its total assets outside of SA with a long-term target of 25%".

Explaining why the stake in Oryx was advantageous, Harris said that most of the Namibian property fund's properties had long head leases and included the Maerua Mall, which is the flagship shopping centre in Windhoek.

"We are buying into Oryx on a 12,75% forward yield, which for the quality of the properties we are buying, is very good."

Harris said Ambit would also look to invest in other parts of Africa and that this might provide opportunities for rand hedge investments.

In its prospectus, Ambit also said that its debt profile would be limited to 50% of the total asset value, but that it would be managed to be between 30% and 50%.

Its property portfolios had been acquired for a total value of R508,3m.

Last week Geoff Cannings, Absa Commercial Property Finance GM, said Ambit would have an initial market capitalisation of about R320m.

Cannings said they would be looking to bulk up the portfolio in the coming year.

Ambit has invested in retail, commercial and industrial properties. Most of the portfolio is situated in Gauteng with the rest spread among other metropolitan areas.

Ambit is not the first South African property company to look at opportunities in Namibia.

In October last year MICC Property Income Fund (Miccprop), which was promoted by Sanlam Property Asset Management, became the first South African property to have a dual listing on the JSE and the Namibian Stock Exchange.

Miccprop's move was strategic because it provided investment opportunities for Namibians, who had traditionally been faced with a shortage of such opportunities.

Last modified on Saturday, 10 May 2014 09:36

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