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Saudi Partners and Old Mutual Properties set up company for middle east

Posted On Monday, 11 October 2004 02:00 Published by
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Old Mutual Properties has signed an agreement with the Savola Group, a leading Saudi Arabian industrial group, to establish a property services company in the Kingdom.

Old Mutual Properties has signed an agreement with the Savola Group, a leading Saudi Arabian industrial group, to establish a property services company in the Kingdom.

The company, United Properties, which will also address the greater Middle Eastern region, will manage the projects and assets of the Saudi shareholders who currently have eight developments worth more than R5 billion under way or in planning. The company will also manage projects and portfolios of non-shareholder entities.

Dr. Sami Baroum, executive vice-president of Savola, says a growth phase in the Saudi property market prompted the need to partner with a world leader in property and mall management.

“We identified Old Mutual Properties as a potential partner. Our representatives visited the malls and other properties managed by Old Mutual Properties in South Africa and were very impressed with their world class standards. These are reflected both in their power to draw visitors and in the number of international awards they have won for design and development.

“Most properties in Saudi Arabia are currently owner managed and as the booming market matures, the opportunity for a property services company offering an integrated solution to the market is huge.”

The Savola Group owns one of the largest retail food chains in the Middle East – the Panda and Azizia supermarkets – as well as fast food restaurants.  The group’s interests supply Saudia Arabia, the Middle East and North African countries with edible oils, sugar, and fresh dairy products.  Savola’s expansion strategy for its retail division has led to a property development drive, mainly in malls, to house their hyper- and supermarkets.

 “Old Mutual Properties will provide the property management skill, expertise and best practices to the new entity which aims to be the leading property services company in Saudi Arabia and the Middle Eastern region, “ says Dr Baroum. “This will be achieved by attracting the best people, implementing the best practices, keeping abreast with the latest developments, technologies and best practices in the property market and offering integrated property solutions to the market that exceeds expectations.”

Ian Watt, managing director of Old Mutual Properties, said the company was delighted to partner with the Savola Group because of synergies in corporate culture and structure and alignment of business vision and mission. The establishment of United Properties follows a series of consulting assignments undertaken by Old Mutual Properties in the Middle East.

Ignatius Kruger, a senior Old Mutual Properties executive, has been appointed to manage the start-up and resourcing of United Properties.  He says most of the projects planned by Savola are in the main centres of Saudi ArabiaRiyadh, the capital, Jeddah in the western region (on the Red Sea), Dammam in the eastern region and the two holy cities of Makkah and Medina. The projects vary from regional malls to commercial and mixed use developments.

He says earthworks have already started for the Globe Mall in Jeddah, a retail centre with a GLA of 64 500 m2 and the Al Salaam Mall (Peace Mall) in Makkah, with a GLA of 20 000m2 is due to break ground in two months. Construction for the East Ring Road Mall in Riyadh, with a GLA of 65 000m2 is due to start soon. Two regional destination projects, one in Dammam and the other in Medina, are in the design development stage.

Kruger says the composition of the Saudi population is likely to have a huge impact on the property market and future retail trends in Saudi Arabia.

More than 72% of the Saudi population of 23 million are younger than 30, he says, and those younger than 15 constitute 45.2 percent of the total population.


ISSUED BY Old Mutual Properties

BY Michael Kerkhoff & Associates

INQUIRIES Ian Watt 021-530-4537

               Brent Wiltshire 021-530-4586

               Mike Kerkhoff 021-424-5280

Publisher: Old Mutual Properties
Source: Old Mutual Properties
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