Property empowerment deal with CBS kicks off PIC’s national footprint

Posted On Thursday, 02 August 2007 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Following Competition Tribunal approval of the take over this week, the empowerment deal will see CBS delist from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the formation of a new board

Wayne van der VentThe bar has been raised on prime office accommodation in South Africa with the acquisition by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of listed property fund CBS which has taken control of the majority of shares. Following Competition Tribunal approval of the take over this week, the empowerment deal will see CBS delist from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the formation of a new board.

Wayne van der Vent, head of the PIC’s property division, becomes the new non-executive chairman of CBS taking over from retiring non-executive chairman and CBS founder, Ivan Klerck.

In the wake of the withdrawal from the listed sector, a number of new appointments have been made. Co-founder Gary Fisher has been appointed managing director and Sean Mackay continues in his current role as financial director. Joining the new board are Gavin Klerck, Jack Barrett and Amanda Stops, all of whom are part of existing management. Former directors Martin Ettin, Derek Greenberg and Richard Harman have resigned.

Two new non-executive directors, Nomusa Nozipho Maila and Panos Zagaretos also join the board. Stepping down are former non-executive directors Jeff Molobela, Colin Traub and Prof Paul Sulcas, all of whom had brought great value to the company over the years, said Fisher.

Fisher said the deal promised an exciting future for management and employees. CBS has 80 employees spread amongst its Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban offices.

“This has been an empowering development for all our staff. Through this deal with our new parent company, the PIC, we have guaranteed the jobs of the ordinary people that work at CBS and created opportunities for more people to grow with the property sector.”

PIC has been an investor in CBS since it listed in 2005 with property assets of R1bn. The current market cap of the company is in excess of R2bn. CBS has a 65% weighting in offices - the majority in A+ premier grade buildings – and the balance in retail.

Van der Vent said that as well as benefiting the PIC and CBS shareholders, the deal was geared to “doing good” for all employees. 

“The success of PIC’s bid means that employees from CBS and its partner, the newly established property empowerment group African Capital, all individually benefit from this deal,” he said. The acquisition makes PIC a 45% partner in African Capital.

PIC formerly held 15% of the linked units that made up the CBS issue and has now acquired more than 84% of the stock. All employees, from the tea-lady up, held units and have gained from PIC’s R12 offer for each unit held.

“We are moving money away from where property stock was traditionally held and want to change the property landscape in South Africa,” said Van der Vent, who plans to increase the PIC’s property portfolio substantially, through such deals, in the next five years.

 “PIC sees this acquisition, with its focus on premium grade offices, as a springboard for a national footprint with a team of qualified people we can leverage across the country,” he said.

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 19:38

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