Trade­hold now a prop­erty com­pany

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Alis­tair An­der­son Prop­erty Writer an­der­sona@busi­nesslive.co.za

Trade­hold, the in­vest­ment group sup­ported by bil­lion­aire Christo Wiese, has re­struc­tured it­self into a prop­erty com­pany with an un­usual mix of UK, SA and Namib­ian as­sets.

Trade­hold, the in­vest­ment group sup­ported by bil­lion­aire Christo Wiese, has re­struc­tured it­self into a prop­erty com­pany with an un­usual mix of UK, SA and Namib­ian as­sets.

Joint CEO Friedrich Ester­huyse said the com­pany that has in­vested in more than R14bn worth of prop­erty can now pay div­i­dends reg­u­larly and of­fer share­hold­ers ex­po­sure to a de­fen­sive mix of UK com­mer­cial prop­er­ties and a strong port­fo­lio of in­dus­trial prop­er­ties in SA and Namibia.

Com­ment­ing on the fi­nan­cial re­sults for the six months to Au­gust, Ester­huyse said Trade­hold is repo­si­tioned as a ded­i­cated prop­erty busi­ness af­ter un­bundling its fi­nan­cial ser­vices and so­lar-en­ergy busi­ness in­ter­ests to share­hold­ers and list­ing these sep­a­rately on the AltX as Met­tle In­vest­ments.

“This is now a com­pany with pri­mar­ily South African in­dus­trial as­sets which are per­form­ing very well and have locked long leases and UK as­sets which are quite de­fen­sive and of­fer cap­i­tal growth op­por­tu­ni­ties. They fall un­der a va­ri­ety of prop­erty types,” he said.

At the end of the re­port­ing pe­riod, 40% of Trade­hold’s prop­erty in­ter­ests were in the UK, 52% in SA and Namibia, and the re­main­ing 8% else­where in South­ern Africa.

Over the six months, the com­pany’s net as­set value per share, which its board said is the com­pany’s “mea­sure of per­for­mance”, came to 119p, com­pared with 127p in the cor­re­spond­ing six months to Au­gust 2017, if the un­bun­dled fi­nan­cial ser­vices are ex­cluded. This rep­re­sents a large dis­count to the com­pany’s share price, which trades at about R12.50 a share.

“The dis­count re­lates largely to the UK port­fo­lio. When you buy a Trade­hold share, you are es­sen­tially buy­ing the SA port­fo­lio and get­ting the UK ex­po­sure as a bonus,” Ester­huyse said.

Trade­hold’s largest in­vestor and chair is Wiese, who owns 48% of the group. He has spent the past few years help­ing the com­pany grow its UK ex­po­sure through its sub­sidiary, Moor­garth, to 23 prop­er­ties.

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