[DATA GRT:Growthpoint Properties Limited] is joining other South African firms as it expands into the rest of Africa, the group’s Chief Executive Norbert Sasse has confirmed.
“Growthpoint has taken a while to get its strategy together for Africa and how to play the African theme,” Sasse told CNBC Africa.
“Key to analysing the opportunity has been finding the right partners, so it has taken us about two years to find the right associates,” he added.
He also said the partnership was a fifty-fifty joint venture with Investec Asset Management which made the new initiative a compelling proposition.
“We have also the International Finance Corporation (IFC) who has come as a partner. The critical part of the ingredient is finding the team so we were fortunate to find Thomas Reilly and his team to join us,” he added.
Reilly was the previous CEO of Sanlam’s Africa property fund business.
“Our African expansion model is built along the fund management model contrary to the South African model where we put 100 per cent of the capital. In this case we will seek to get third party institutional funding with Investec,” says Sasse.
Reilly, Managing Director of the new investment vehicle said the company will start by focusing on the obvious suspects in the group’s expansion drive.
“We had an initial target of 17 countries but we will start with the obvious ones like Zambia and Botswana in Southern Africa, Kenya in East Africa, Nigeria and Ghana in West Africa,” said Reilly.
He added that engaging local partners will also be part of Growthpoint’s strategy.
“We will try to partner with local private-equity firms and developers in building our own portfolio.”