Hyprop takes next strategic step in reducing exposure to Sub-Saharan Africa
5 August 2019 – JSE specialist shopping centre REIT, Hyprop, today announced the sale of Manda Hill Shopping Centre located in Lusaka, Zambia. The 42 000m² mall, owned 50% by Hyprop Investments (Mauritius) Limited and 50% by AttAfrica Limited, was sold at the December 2018 carrying value. The disposal is in line with Hyprop’s strategy communicated to the market at interims in March this year, where it stated its intention to reduce its exposure to sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa (“SSA”) to focus its attention and capital on its South African and Eastern European (“EE”) businesses.
At December 2018 the group had reported an impairment in the SSA portfolio of R1.07 billion. The sale of Manda Hill was concluded at the December 2018 book value. Hyprop will use its share of the proceeds to reduce its USD debt in Mauritius.
Hyprop CEO Morné Wilken says: “This is the next step in implementing our strategy of exiting Sub-Saharan Africa, repositioning our South African portfolio and retaining dominance in the Hystead portfolio in Eastern Europe through active asset management.” A further benefit is that the disposal of Manda Hill will reduce Hyprop’s US Dollar debt and impact positively on the group’s LTV ratio, while enabling the group to focus on key regions of South Africa and Eastern Europe.
Following the announcement of the sale of Achimota Retail Centre in Ghana in June and this disposal, the remaining SSA investment now comprises stakes in Accra Mall and West Hills Mall in Accra, Ghana; Kumasi City Mall in Kumasi, Ghana; and Ikeja City Mall in Lagos, Nigeria. Hyprop and the shareholders of AttAfrica intend to further reduce the exposure to SSA over time.
Wilken highlights: “I want to commend the Hyprop team in executing our investment strategy. We will continue to focus on owning and managing a portfolio of dominant retail centres in key economic nodes in order to deliver sustainable returns for investors.”
Hyprop’s share closed Friday at R67,60.