Ramos defends V&A Waterfront sale

Posted On Wednesday, 11 October 2006 02:00 Published by
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When the requirements of the sale of the V&A Waterfront by Transnet and its pension funds were designed there had been "no basis in law to exclude foreign-based companies", Transnet chief executive Maria Ramos told Members of Parliament.
 
By Donwald Pressly

When the requirements of the sale of the V&A Waterfront by Transnet and its pension funds were designed there had been "no basis in law to exclude foreign-based companies", Transnet chief executive Maria Ramos told Members of Parliament.
 
Addressing the National Assembly public enterprises portfolio committee, she said: "What we wanted to do was to maximise the value of that asset. Once you set a process and set criteria you have to follow it... you can't come to the end of it and somebody doesn't like (the buyers) and change the process at the end."
 
She was responding to a question from an African National Congress MP who asked whether this deal - which still needs to be approved by the competitions commission and the South African Reserve Bank - was not selling the family silver and coincided with a State sanctions probe into the question of foreign ownership of South African land.
 
The L&R Consortium, which has British, South African and Dubai elements, was named the successful bidder by Transnet - the transport parastatal - for the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&A) in Cape Town in September.
 
Ramos said on Tuesday that the bulk of this asset was held by Transnet pension funds and the trustees of the pension founds "would (also) want to maximise the value of that investment".
 
"As it happened the winning bidder was a consortium that has local and foreign participation. Their commitment is to a long term investment... return on capital appreciation is a long term investment".
 
Underscoring her point, she said it was "a good thing for South Africa" to have gained "a significant portion of foreign investment into a commercial asset".
 
The consortium, selected from nine short-listed bidders based on the evaluation criteria published in May 2006, is a South African company made up of a broad spread of local and international shareholders.
 
It is led by the United Kingdom-based London and Regional Group Holdings Limited. A 23.1% stake is held by black economic empowerment (BEE) shareholders and other members include international property investors, Dubai-based investment house Istithmar PJSC, while 2% is held by a consortium to be set aside in a trust for the V&A Waterfront's black workers.
 
Lexshell's BEE shareholders include Tsa Rona Investments, Decorum, the Western Cape Women's Investment Alliance, Kgontsi Investments and the Cape Empowerment Trust, as well as other community organisations.
 
Ramos said further that Transnet was "not a bank or a financial institution... we needed the cash to finance big capital spending by Transnet and some of issues regarding the pensions".
 
I-Net Bridge


Publisher: I-Net Bridge
Source: I-Net Bridge

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