Businesses across the spectrum have been targeted in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal as violent civil unrest and disorder resulted in sporadic incidents of looting and damage to property this past week. Redefine can confirm that five of our properties in KwaZulu Natal, namely Ushekela Industrial Park, Cato Ridge Distribution Centre, the Scottsville Mall, Isipingo Junction and 320 West Street, and one property in Gauteng, namely our co-owned retail centre, Chris Hani Crossing in Vosloorus, were looted and damaged. Attempts to loot Maponya Mall and certain of our other malls in Gauteng were fortunately thwarted, but all building management remains on high alert.All our sites are being monitored and precautionary safety measures have been put in place to limit damage, as far as possible, to property and safeguard lives. In order to ensure the safety of our customers, tenants and employees we are monitoring the situation closely. Our unaffected shopping centres are operating as usual again but will be proactively locked down should the need prevail. Approximately 2% (by value) of Redefine’s property portfolio has been affected, although the quantum of the damage remains uncertain at this time. The affected properties are comprehensively insured and any loss of income is similarly covered by business interruption insurance cover.As a people centric organisation, Redefine shares the concerns of all South Africans about the unfolding events in our country and would like to thank its on-site staff, tenants, service providers, law enforcement agencies and the local communities who have all played an invaluable role in safeguarding Redefine’s properties during this difficult time.Stakeholders will be kept informed of any further developments.
Redefine advances strategy to reduce risk and improve quality across its property asset platformJohannesburg, 17 May 2021 – JSE-listed REIT, Redefine Properties, has reported a lower distributable income per share of 26.2c for the interim period to 28 February 2021, driven principally by the impact of Covid-19 on the property sector and broader economy. However, the company is in a strong position to benefit from an anticipated uptick in property fundamentals as conditions begin to improve in line with the expected vaccine rollout in the latter half of the year.The current reporting period covers six months during which the economy was battered by one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. Consequently, when compared with a pre-Covid prior reporting period, the distributable income is down 21.8%.CEO Andrew König says while the jury is out on the exact point at which the upward cycle will begin, an improvement back to pre-Covid levels should take place once vaccines are broadly rolled out.“We believe the bottom of the cycle has been reached. What we are expecting – and this is also what has happened in other countries who have made good strides on their vaccine programmes – is that the rollout of vaccines will lead to more mobility in the system. This means more people going out, to work, to shop and to play and that quickly translates into confidence, which is the cheapest form of economic stimulus,” he says.König says until an accelerated turnaround begins, however, weaker property fundamentals and low economic growth have to be factored in for 2021 and beyond.As a precautionary measure ahead of a still nascent vaccine rollout in SA, Redefine’s board has decided to take the prudent step to defer its dividend decision to year end.“We did not take this decision lightly at all and took all stakeholder interests into account. It is fundamental to our investment proposition to pay dividends, but unfortunately there is just too much uncertainty to factor in right now. We hope to have better news towards the end of the year, but as always we must act prudently,” he says.Ntobeko Nyawo, Redefine’s new CFO, says Redefine is in a strong position to benefit from future growth thanks to its focus on managing risk and optimising its balance sheet. At the previous year end, Redefine’s loan to value ratio (LTV – a key indicator of balance sheet risk) was at 47.5%, but by half year it was reduced to 44.3%.“We have continued to strengthen our balance sheet, through disposal of non-core assets. By doing the right things now we have access to ample liquidity (R4.8 billion) and achieved a pleasing 98% of gross billings in collections. Our net asset value per share also increased to 719.74 cents per share. This means our business has remained highly cash generative, despite the pandemic,” he says.Apart from the obvious Covid-19 impact, he says the decrease in revenue for the period was largely attributable to the deconsolidation of European Logistics Investment B.V. (ELI) during the second half of 2020, the sale of Leicester Street and the disposal of non?core local properties during the period. Dividends were also not forthcoming from Redefine’s 45.4% holding in EPP, who acted to preserve financial flexibility and bolster their own liquidity.Chief Operating Officer, Leon Kok, says Redefine managed to deliver positive outcomes during a difficult six months, thanks to its strategic intent of repositioning the asset platform to maintain relevance.“We focused on execution and this half is a clear demonstration of our strategy delivering the desired outcomes,” he says.Redefine’s total property assets under management are valued at R75.3 billion, with 84% invested in SA.Kok says concluded non-core property asset disposals realised R4.0 billion, with a further R2.7 billion currently at an advanced stage.“A further highlight was the completion of two new local logistics developments totalling R229.7 million, while the estimated cost of a new domestic retail and a logistics development in progress totals R293.2 million,” he says.König says the 16% of the portfolio now held offshore incorporates the recent sales of non-core assets like student accommodation in Australia, but he expects the offshore portfolio to grow through continued development expansion in the Polish logistics platform.“There will be an uptick – we just do not know how aggressive it will be. However, in Poland, the strong economic fundamentals mean they could bounce back to pre-Covid levels far quicker. In SA, it might take longer as the local economy was already fragile going into the Covid-19 crisis,” he says.Redefine is focusing on expanding into the logistics space through development locally and in Poland. It completed two local logistics projects and in Poland, where 67,343 square metres were completed at a cost Euro 40 million, with developments under construction of 173,240 squares, at a cost of Euro 120 million.Significant land holdings in strategic locations like Cape Town and Johannesburg will be harnessed for the local development. König says this growth will not be done speculatively, but rather through on-demand development for tenants.Redefine’s results paint the picture of a fairly stable retail and industrial space, but with offices struggling with weakened demand and oversupply of space.“What we have found is there is a flight to quality, with key locations and conditions proving more defensive and attractive,” says König.Redefine is positive that some normality will return to the office space despite talk of far less demand in a “new normal”.“Young people wanting to learn and be mentored are suffering the most. Corporate ethos and culture as-well-as collaboration also can’t be properly nurtured. Some service sectors like banking are also bemoaning the slip in turnaround times. I think this is why more people want to return to an office environment, and why a more hybrid model is likely. A 100% work-from-home simply does not suit a fully productive, engaged and connected workforce,” says König.“Our results reflect the important strides we are making in the creation of a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient operating context. Covid-19 has provided us with a unique opportunity to reset every aspect of what we do and the execution of our strategic priorities will position Redefine for the eventual upward cycle,” concludes König.
Rosebank, South Africa, 20 April 2021: Since the beginning of the pandemic, one of the biggest questions in real estate has been around office occupation as lockdown restrictions forced white collar workers to trade office desks for kitchen counters and coffee tables. Upended by Covid-19, the sector found itself in the worst stretch in decades with semi-permanent changes in the workplace now forcing a rethink of how space is used and leased.Before Covid-19, working from home (WFH) was an optional benefit, mostly a perk at the manager’s discretion. One of the key public health responses to the pandemic, the hard lockdown, made remote work available to everyone, doing what years of advocacy couldn’t do and only went to show that work could still be done if offices remained closed.While Covid-19 accelerated the WFH trend, it has also revealed its limitations. In today’s knowledge economy an organisation’s currency is inventiveness, culture, collaboration, skills transfer and camaraderie and a screen interface is no match or replacement for face-to-face interactions. “It is a forgone conclusion in the industry that WFH has immediate implications on occupier demand. It is however a case of different strokes for different sectors and workstreams,” says Pieter Strydom, Commercial Asset Manager, Redefine Properties.“For sectors like legal, consulting, architecture and design to name just a few, the office is a vital anchor for knowledge sharing, innovation, learning, collaboration and meaningful engagement. Major corporates know they need to maintain a headquarter to attract talent and this wisdom is not lost to them. It is vital however to make the office appealing, offering an engaging work environment drawing people back to the office by choice.”Not all the news for office sector is bad. According to Redefine, the vacancy levels for its P-grade offices reduced during the last quarter. Tenants are capitalising on current market conditions to improve their existing office environments, from a cost, quality, efficiency and amenities perspective. This consolidation while driving demand in P-grade assets, is also forcing a growth in secondary asset vacancies.“This upward migration has opened up secondary space ripe for repurposing for alternative uses such as co-working, storage, education, residential and other amenities. We foresee a growth in co-working in the longer term as businesses settle into the new normal of a centralised head office and remote working from co-working spaces and home environments,” adds Strydom.“Opening a second office might not have made sense historically, but with work life balance a bigger priority for the younger generation entering the workforce, it makes sense to be closer to talent pools. Moreover, these co-working offices will directly benefit retail and residential markets, a win-win for the sector.”Empty offices in markets like Singapore and South Korea have attracted the eye of their governments who have expressed interest in converting commercial real estate into housing. Redefine has no such plans at present confirms Strydom who believes that the REIT is well diversified with office, retail and industrial holdings.While remote working is here to stay, the consequences of working from “home alone” will sooner than later be reflected in the diminishing work culture, inhibiting innovation and hampering collaboration. Many will still yearn for a place to connect in person and co-working spaces are uniquely positioned to fill the void. In the South African milieu, the broader remote workforce also faces challenges from rolling blackouts and poor internet connectivity.Lastly, Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) requirements place responsibility on companies in its capacity as the employer and with no case precedent for the purpose of compensation if an employee sustains occupational injuries while working from home, it is one of the grey areas which many corporates haven’t really addressed.“Like the virus has mutated, the sentiment towards working from home might too. While some will be eager to return to the offices, some others might revel in the social isolation of working from home. There is little doubt that the offices vacated at the end of March 2020 will not be the offices people will return to.”
Johannesburg, 22 February 2021 – JSE-listed REIT, Redefine Properties, says its balance sheet is in a stronger position than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and that it should be well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities by the end of the financial year in August.Speaking during a pre-close media briefing ahead of its February interim results, CEO Andrew König said 2021 is expected to be a key turning point. “The strategic initiatives put in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago are well advanced and will position us for the eventual upward cycle”.The major focus for Redefine in recent months has been on preserving liquidity and protecting its loan-to-value ratio (LTV) in the face of ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty, a new variant of the virus and a dreaded third wave of infections.“We are confident we will be able to continue to improve our position by the end of the financial year and will be back to a situation where we can look at expanding and growing the business, with 2022 expected to look better.”While 2020 was the worst year in history for listed property, a rebound will hinge on a successful rollout of the vaccine, and diminished chances of further upsurges of infections. “COVID-19 taught us a lot of things – to reset our sights, not be overambitious and be realistic. Prior to the crisis, Eskom was our country’s chief economic risk, but COVID-19 quickly usurped that situation, although recent load shedding has not helped matters. Fortunately, the prospects of a successful vaccine rollout is now providing much needed confidence,” says König.With all eyes on the Finance Minister ahead of Wednesday’s Budget, König says the market will welcome growth-orientated reforms to further improve confidence levels. However, the ongoing uncertainty and evolving unknowns, means Redefine cannot yet provide market guidance on distributable earnings for 2021.But König says the strategy remains to continue to sell non-core assets to lower the LTV ratio rather than raising equity at highly dilutive pricing. In this regard, the sale of Australian student accommodation asset Leicester Street in December returned R2.5bn and R1.2bn of local disposals have been transferred during the last six months.Reits are focusing on reducing their LTV ratios and König says “we are trending the right way, albeit slowly having chosen the tougher route” to getting back to the sub 40% level. A key risk is the impact of ongoing uncertainty on asset valuations.The interim dividend decision for 2021 will be made at the time of approving the release of the half year results.“We can’t pre-empt the outcome of deliberations on whether an interim dividend will be paid, but we will always act in the best interest of all stakeholders, while complying with all our regulatory obligations,” says König.At the end of August 2020, the group’s local assets, which include Centurion Mall, premium office buildings Alice Lane and Rosebank Towers, were worth R65.4bn and its offshore assets R15.6bn. “We are in the process of obtaining asset valuations for the half year, but it is evident that most of the pain was taken last year and the decline in value is expected to not be more than 3% - and could be even less,” says König.“We are focusing on the variables we can control in this environment to position ourselves for the eventual upward cycle. By positioning our asset platform to be diversified in SA across the retail, office, and industrial sectors and geographically through Polish logistics – which is doing exceptionally well – and Polish retail, we have simplified our asset platform and eliminated a number of risk universes. As a consequence, we are well positioned to withstand prevailing market conditions,” says König. Going forward, Redefine’s strategic priorities are centred on fulfilling its purpose to create and manage spaces in a way that changes lives. This is being done through collaboration, innovation, and differentiation.“We need to be relevant to users’ evolving needs. We need to be agile and alert to the changing operating environment to ensure we are constantly refining our portfolio to remain relevant. We are fortunate to have repositioned Redefine with a capital structure that is well placed to thrive in the new normal,” concludes König.
Redefine Properties’ Board resolves not to declare FY2020 dividendRosebank, South Africa, 22 January 2020: JSE listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties has announced the decision by its Board to resolve to not pay a dividend in respect of FY2020 in the face of ongoing Covid-19 uncertainty. The Board explained that it had considered the needs of all stakeholders in the context of a rapidly changing trading environment. The decision is consistent with Redefine’s focus on preserving liquidity, protecting its loan to value (LTV) ratio and maintaining its REIT status, whilst complying with the solvency and liquidity test contained in the Companies Act. The Board considers this to be the most pragmatic course of action until the impact of Covid-19 becomes clearer. This is the first time in Redefine’s 22 year listed history that it has not declared a dividend, but the decision follows that of many other companies globally and locally in the face of ongoing uncertainty. The decision whether or not to pay a dividend was also necessitated, after the JSE disallowed an alternative distribution mechanism, which Redefine had proposed last year.In order to retain its REIT status, Redefine is required to distribute at least 75% of its total distributable profits as a cash distribution to its shareholders by no later than six months after its financial year end, which is subject to meeting the solvency and liquidity requirements of the Companies Act.Redefine CEO, Andrew König, explains that Redefine will not lose its REIT status following this decision. “The Board concluded that, while Redefine clearly satisfies the solvency leg of the solvency and liquidity test, there may be insufficient headroom to absorb any further material negative LTV triggers if a cash dividend was paid, which could potentially lead to a breach of the LTV debt covenant ratio with one or more funders after the 28 February 2021 measurement period and result in adverse liquidity consequences.”A REIT's obligation to make the minimum 75% distribution is contingent upon its Board reasonably concluding that the REIT will satisfy the solvency and liquidity test after having paid such minimum distribution.“Facing unprecedented operating conditions in the real estate sector and little visibility into the future as a consequence of the outbreak of the second and possibly more waves of the pandemic, we believe we have no choice but not to declare a dividend as a means of preserving shareholder value and protecting our balance sheet,” adds König. “We are working hard to streamline our asset platform and strengthen the balance sheet to withstand the ongoing volatility and uncertainty, at the same time ensuring we are poised to benefit when conditions improve. We will return to a consistent cycle of dividend payouts as soon as we have greater visibility of the impact of this pandemic on trading conditions.” The board’s assessment was that the company’s LTV debt covenants on the assumption of no further adverse market circumstances would not likely be breached. However, given the ongoing and potential adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it needed to take into account the possible impact of factors outside of Redefine’s control and which may materialise within the 12 month period after payment of the dividend. The factors at play include the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations, property valuations, valuations of investments, timing of LTV reduction interventions including disposals, the outbreak of subsequent waves and any associated increased and extended lockdown regulations locally and internationally. “Capital and liquidity are the order of the day. The near-term outlook is clearly challenging and without precedent; however, we are confident that over time the strength of our portfolio both here in South Africa and Poland, rigorous balance sheet management, rationalisation of our asset base and in particular, our cash-flow generation capabilities will shine through,” adds König in conclusion. “We are hopeful that the global roll out of vaccines and our government’s own efforts to acquire some 20 million doses during early 2021 will return confidence to the markets. Redefine remains a financially sound business with a capital structure that is well placed to absorb a prolonged period of uncertainty.”
Distributable income for year ended 31 August declines 49% due to dividends withheld offshore, impact of hard lockdown locallyJohannesburg, 1 December 2020 – Redefine Properties, which turned 21 as a listed company this year, is well placed to benefit from logistics growth in Poland after hard lockdown restrictions locally and dividends withheld by offshore investments significantly dampened results for the year ended 31 August 2020.Results for the year ended 31 August 2020 showed how the tough trading conditions locally and overseas brought on by COVID-19 served to drag distributable income per share down by 49.0% to 51.50 cents, from 101.00 cents last year. Total revenue, however, showed only a marginal decline of 0.1% and signs of green shoots have begun to appear. Collections from tenants increased to a pleasing 96% and 97% of billings during September and October after averaging only 84% during the worst of the COVID-19 crisis.“Redefine continues to streamline its asset platform and strengthen its balance sheet to withstand ongoing volatility and uncertainty, at the same time ensuring it is poised to benefit when conditions improve,” says CEO, Andrew König.An offshore asset base valued at R15.6 billion (FY19: R22.6 billion) – compared with diversified local property assets of R65.4 billion (FY19: R72.8 billion) – continues to provide adequate geographic diversification. And while Redefine is in the process of exiting the Australian market, it is building a pipeline of exciting opportunities in the Polish logistics space.“We have put in the hard work and are making great strides towards building tangibly for the medium term. We are leveraging off operational efficiencies, making significant inroads in reducing our loan-to-value ratio, being ruthless rather than reckless in right-sizing our asset footprint, and are set to benefit from growth in Poland,” says König.König puts the Polish expansion potential into perspective: Gross leasable area of 527 000 square metres has been expanded by 160 000 square metres and there is a pipeline to take this exposure to well over a million square metres over the next year or two, utilising the EUR163 million (R3.2 billion) sourced from introducing an equity investor into European Logistics Investment.“We are still expanding despite constraints to the capital base and see a lot of opportunity in logistics in Poland, based on the impetus placed by the government on infrastructure investment, but also thanks to growing demand for warehouse space as more people move to e-commerce channels,” he says.He also points out that Redefine is not distressed from a cash point of view and has “a lot of liquidity to come our way, having concluded disposals totalling R13.4 billion, of which only R7.1 billion was banked in 2020.”During the year, local property disposals realised R894 million, the exit from RDI REIT PLC raised GBP106.3 million (R2.3 billion), and the residual investment in Cromwell was sold for AUD53.3 million (R674.6 million).Redefine’s top priority during the year under review was to address the group’s loan-to-value ratio, says CFO, Leon Kok.“Our LTV improvement initiatives – which included being the first SA REIT to implement a dividend payout policy and exiting non-core investments in the UK and Australia – yielded an LTV reduction of 5.7%. However, the destructive impact of COVID-19 had the opposite effect on asset values, increasing the LTV by 7.8% – negating the improvement initiatives,” he says.“Work on the LTV is therefore not yet done, and to achieve a sub-40% LTV by August 2021, will require further initiatives. A clear pathway has been set to achieving this target, involving further optimisation of the property asset base, limiting the cash outflow from dividends, as well as the completion of the sale of our interest in Journal's two student accommodation properties in Australia,” he says.In the interim, Redefine’s board has deferred a decision on the declaration of a dividend until February 2021, as it is working on a mechanism to ensure there is no adverse impact on LTV from the payment of a dividend. This is subject to the requisite regulatory approvals, and shareholders will be informed as soon as this has been concluded, with full details on the timeline and structure to be provided.“I believe we have set a new floor on our asset value to sustain value creation going forward, having recorded core asset valuation write-downs of R9.8 billion,” says König. However, this does not escape the stark reality that Redefine’s local property portfolio performance was heavily impacted by the restrictions imposed by government to curb the spread of the virus. Kok says rental relief packages to support the sustainability of tenants amounted to R318.5 million, while the provision for credit losses has increased by R310.4 million. Kok reports that the active portfolio vacancy rate increased during the period to 7.4% from 5.1% in the same period last year, while the tenant retention rate was 90.8%, from 92.2% a year ago.The role of ESG has been elevated with Redefine reaching the milestone of having its hundredth building green star rated during the financial year and was also the first local REIT signatory to the UN global climate change compact.König adds: “We are delighted to announce that Ntobeko Nyawo has been appointed as the company’s chief financial officer from 1 March 2021, which frees up Leon Kok to take over as chief operating officer from David Rice who recently retired.” “COVID-19 has accelerated the execution of our strategic priorities, and we have worked very hard in deepening engagement with intensified collaboration and heightened our focus on ESG, with more to come in the new year,” says König. However, he says the outlook continues to be vulnerable to the performance of offshore assets after the rationalisation of the asset base.“We are focusing on liquidity and cash flow management but remain mindful of the opportunities that are presenting themselves. We are building for tomorrow today through collaboration, differentiation and innovation.“We are looking through the short-term challenges and trying not to be distracted from our purpose, so that we become more relevant to our users’ needs and continue to attract and retain quality tenants, which is the lifeblood of our business,” concludes König.
Johannesburg, 1 December 2020 – Redefine Properties (JSE:RDF) has appointed the highly experienced Ntobeko Nyawo as its new CFO, with effect from 1 March 2021.A seasoned executive and qualified CA with over 16 years’ experience, Ntobeko joins from Stanlib, where he currently serves as chief operating officer (COO). Prior to that, he was chief financial officer of Alexander Forbes Emerging Markets, responsible for driving African expansion in partnership with the chief executive officer.“We are delighted to welcome Ntobeko to our team. His depth of experience as a finance and investment executive, on audit and risk committees and in key transformational roles, including in the migration to digital channels, makes him an ideal candidate to add significant value to the core leadership of our business,” says Redefine chairperson, Sipho Pityana.“This appointment also frees up Leon Kok to take over as COO at a crucial time. Leon’s depth of experience in finance and property and his leadership will help take us forward as we chart an exciting new path, while navigating ongoing economic volatility,” concludes Pityana.
Rosebank, South Africa, 16 November 2020: The weeks that followed the hard lockdown at the end of March have been inconceivable for retailers. The measures undertaken by the Government to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus that included mandatory isolation brought a sizeable chunk of the economy to a standstill. Retail, one of the mainstays, ground to a halt as a consequence with only essential retail permitted to remain open and trade. The unprecedented measures in large part can be credited for SA’s stellar management of the public health crisis which has been said to be better than most developed countries. With most parts of the economy now open, and many employees back in the offices, retailers are looking forward in anticipation to the days surrounding the American Thanksgiving holiday, a big draw for cash-strapped consumers. At home, Black Friday conjures up images of snaking queues and crowded stores, however it is likely to be muted this year due to the pandemic, as shoppers will still be expected to socially distance and wear masks in-store. “As part of the health regulations, stores will also be expected to limit the number of people inside at any one time. We are already seeing retailers working around this by extending promotions rather than limiting it to just a few days. We expect to see a Black November or even a Black December as retailers go all out to capture the available rands and cents,” says Nashil Chotoki, National Asset Manager, Retail, Redefine Properties. Creating COVID-19 safe environments for consumers will also differentiate retailers and shopping centres, which can become a driver of footfall and spend. By and large, all sectors in the country and more importantly the retail sector has really played its part in ensuring consumers adhere to public health guidelines by enforcing the mask, sanitising and social distancing rules. With the threat of coronavirus still a clear and present danger, malls and national retailers can’t risk attracting large crowds as seen in the preceding years, often camping outside and queueing for hours for deep discounts. Black Friday is just one more thing the pandemic has upended in 2020. But it isn’t all bad news for consumers. “Retailers are doing their best to safely draw in customers and we have seen a better than expected recovery of retail footfall and sales. Since reopening, convenience malls have been performing better than large shopping centres as customers feel safer, in respect to COVID- 19, in outdoor, open air malls compared to enclosed shopping environments,” adds Chotoki. Black Friday is also getting a pandemic makeover like everything else this year. Instead of waiting for Cyber Monday, shoppers will be able to buy online, any and all discounted products as deals that are usually reserved for in-store shopping will appear online during the month. In and through the pandemic, shoppers moved to the safer confines of ‘online’ in greater numbers, hoping to avoid crowds at stores, promise of contactless payments and retailers were quick to pivot adjusting their online offerings accordingly.“COVID-19 has accelerated online sales, in particular groceries, however most online platforms are still operating at a loss and therefore we expect ‘click and collect’ to be more sustainable due to the lower cost of delivery.” adds Chotoki.“While online sales are growing, we do not anticipate the South African market to reach levels being seen in developed countries in the foreseeable future mainly due to cost, access to the internet and logistics.”Despite the euphoria around Black Friday and the sales surge that follows, retailers are likely to run fewer discounting promotions compared to last year’s “doorbusting” deals as they cannot afford the reduction in margin following the series of COVID-19-related lockdowns. “While retailers have accepted that it is likely to be a muted affair, they can draw comfort from a consumer base that feels a little more confident about spending, thanks to historically low interest rates which have partially cushioned the impact of lower salaries and employment on retail sales,” says Chotoki in conclusion.
Rosebank, South Africa, 5 November 2020: Redefine Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of JSE-listed diversified Real Estate Investment Trust, Redefine Properties, has completed its purchase of M1 Marki Commercial Centre located in Marki near Warsaw, Poland. Redefine Europe will acquire M1 Marki from the Chariot Group for EUR58.9 million. As part of the transaction, Redefine will sell its 25% equity interest in Chariot Top Group B.V. the sole shareholder of Chariot Group back to the company for EUR55.2 million. M1 Marki, with a gross lettable area of approximately 47 444sqm, comprises two main retail buildings, the M1 shopping mall and a stand-alone Obi DIY store, as well as three smaller buildings (Norauto, Burger King and a Shell petrol station). The centre along with neighbouring properties (IKEA, Decathlon, Agata Meble and Homepark Targowek retail park) forms one of the biggest retail clusters in Warsaw. Andrew König, CEO, Redefine Properties says, “The transaction simplifies our offshore asset platform and also facilitates the exit of a minority held investment yielding non-recurring income in exchange for a wholly owned asset generating a recurring income stream.”“Poland is an attractive market for us due to its size and scale and M1 Marki is located in Warsaw’s premier retail node. The transaction aligns to our strategic intent of buying into assets which offer good long value appreciation prospects.”Redefine Europe was set up by Redefine in 2018 for the purpose of holding Redefine’s European property assets. The sale of Redefine’s Australian student accommodation portfolio comprising Uni Place, Leicester Street and Central, Swanston Street has now received the greenlight from the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia. Accordingly, settlement of the Uni Place, Leicester Street sale agreement is expected to be completed on or about 11 December 2020. The settlement of Central, Swanston Street remains subject to COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions and carries a long stop date of 30 June 2021. “Our asset platform has been significantly readjusted for prevailing conditions and we are now more focused on a single external geography offshore in Poland. This simplifies our asset platform, improves our risk profile, bolsters our liquidity position and eases our loan to value ratio, which has been under a lot of pressure,” concludes König.
Soweto, South Africa – 04 November 2020: In a move that will help community organisations build capacity and sustain themselves, now more than ever in the post-pandemic era, JSE-listed diversified Real Estate Investment Trust, Redefine Properties, has launched two programmes, one for Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) and one targeting Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) in Soweto. The programmes, designed to support NPOs and SMMEs working and operating in the communities, started on 1 September 2020, and will run over a period of 12 months. In addition to causing a global public health crisis, some of the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as lockdown and social distancing slowed down the ability of SMMEs to contribute meaningfully to the economy. Also, the severity of the pandemic drowned out other development issues outside of healthcare. Non-profits tackling key issues in the community now need to raise the visibility of their advocacy projects to attract funding.These development programmes are the first to be undertaken following community engagements conducted late last year. Redefine held workshops with the community around Maponya Mall as part of its Challenge Convention, an asset-based community development initiative. During the Challenge Convention a number of key stakeholders highlighted the real challenges the community was faced with.Three main priorities emerged during these discussions at the time, support for NPOs, SMMEs and the youth. Supporting the recovery of this vulnerable cohort presents a golden opportunity to build on the strides they were making before COVID-19 in creating jobs and developing communities. “As communities around our properties attempt to revive the economy, SMMEs face the same question as us, how do we reopen? How do we reinvent our business model? says Marijke Coetzee, Head of Marketing and Communications, Redefine Properties.“It is critical that we continue to build the resilience of projects already being run in the communities and also make sure the SMMEs are capacitated to grow and prosper in a constrained economy. The programmes target people and projects where they can have the greatest economic and social impact.” The NPO Development Programme will be implemented by the NSBM Consortium, which includes the National Institute Community Development and Management Trust, South African Association of Youth Clubs, Be Unlimited and Mvelwabo Living Lounge. The programme consists of 12-module outcomes-based training and includes formative and summative assessments of all the participants. It will also focus on key skills like financial management, operations, governance, compliance, leadership and knowledge transfer vital to running successful NPOs as well as leadership development, coaching and mentoring. 12 local NPOs operating around the Maponya Mall in Soweto have been selected, and each NPO will in turn elect three individuals to attend the training programme. The programme will include:• 25 days of contact time • 360 hours’ worth of coaching and mentoring• Six hours of leadership and personal transformation sessions per candidate • 18 hours of collective reflective sessions on interpersonal dynamics and team development throughout the yearThe SMME Development Programme will be implemented by Siwaju Consulting. The programme is aimed at building businesses to survive and thrive in a constrained economy and create employment opportunities for the local youth. It will target businesses at various stages of their development, both in the informal and formal sector. 30 individual entrepreneurs have been selected to participate in the programme and will consist of the following outputs:• 18 days of contact time• 240 hours of business coaching and mentorship• An online learner management system which will host e-learning material and a knowledge library for the participants to utilise throughout the periodGiven the existing challenges of COVID-19, and restrictions on gatherings, the programmes will be delivered with strict adherence to health guidelines including measures not limited to social distancing, sanitising, wearing of masks etc. Both programmes will use a blended approach to enhance learning and development including online classroom presentations, one-on-one business coaching as well as digital learning. All participants in the programmes will be provided with the tools required to ensure that learning outcomes are not constrained by not having access to technology. The implementation of the Youth Development Programme will coincide with the formalisation of “The Hub” at Maponya Mall. The multi-purpose space will seek to address the needs identified by the community, particularly the youth, to connect them to resources that will promote participation in the local economy. Further details will be announced in due course. “Investing in the communities is about community engagement and this is at the core of Redefine’s way of business, leveraging spaces we manage to change the lives and the future of the people and communities around them. The Challenge Convention is our investment in local people and projects to solve local problems,” adds Coetzee in conclusion. “I want to take this opportunity to thank the partners who have come on board to help us deliver on the commitments we made to the community.”
Rosebank, South Africa, 23 October 2020: While sentiment towards global real estate has fallen sharply, the outlook for the Polish logistics sector is proving to be COVID-19’s silver lining. Exceptional demand from tenants for space close to urban clusters, growing preference for e-groceries and a rethink of supply chains are combining to drive the sector forward according to Poland-focused European Logistics Investment (ELI). Since 2018, Netherlands based ELI, in which Redefine Properties has a 46.5% equity interest, has developed eight assets, with another five under construction, and six under due diligence for future development. ELI consists of a Polish-focused logistics platform of approximately 527 000sqm of standing assets, 145 000sqm of assets under development and over 1 million sqm of potential development pipeline. Andrew König, CEO, Redefine Properties says, “We continue to prioritise efforts and leverage opportunities to expand through the development of well-located assets occupied by high-quality tenants. Our strategy is centred on creating a well-diversified and leading Polish logistics platform capitalising on the strong economic and real estate fundamentals in the sector.” The sector’s buoyancy can be attributed to factors like construction lead times, which tend to be relatively short, as well as low capital expenditure. In times of volatility, assets that require smaller capital outlay can be appealing because of their capacity to preserve investor returns. “We see a huge potential to create a large and diversified portfolio with a good mix between built-to-suit, inner-city, multi-tenanted and single-tenanted developments in prime nodes. Over the next five to seven years, we will be looking to increase our Polish industrial assets to up to 2 million sqm in size and target EUR1 billion in gross asset value,” adds König.“Poland is a prime location for the logistics sector due to the country's position in central Europe. Moreover, it is a liquid real estate market with high investor appeal and producing hard currency free cashflow.” Occupier demand in Poland continues to be driven, among other factors, by e-commerce with small warehousing units within the inner city areas and last mile facilities close to urban centres much in demand and leading to higher rentals and asset values. Poland is also fast becoming a significant logistics hub for international players and is very competitive compared with Western Europe in terms of rental rates and labour costs. “The industrial sector had its best six months, until June 2020. Twenty deals with a total volume of almost EUR1.2 billion were recorded, mainly driven by large portfolio transactions. Prime warehouse yields stand at 6.25% with quality assets, with long leased assets trading at sub 5.00%, and Warsaw inner city projects at around 5.50%,” says Pieter Prinsloo, Redefine Europe CEO. “As the popularity of online shopping grows, the demand from occupiers will also increase. During the pandemic, consumers rediscovered the convenience of online shopping, even adding groceries to their checkout baskets. As retailers and logistics firms race to deliver a seamless experience and faster services, demand is likely to rise sharply for light industrial properties in close proximity to city centres”. The sector benefitted from a spike in e-commerce and courier service activity during the COVID-19 period resulting in some tenants taking short-term leases to secure additional space. This was as a result of many companies holding greater amounts of inventory to buffer their supply-chain responsiveness. Poland is also seeing a wave of new businesses wanting to move manufacturing away from Asia and closer to customers in Europe. The supply chain disruptions from COVID-19 is proving to be the biggest motivator. “Quality assets are our competitive edge and we have a substantial development pipeline in prime investment markets and locations. Our efforts to strengthen the balance sheet continue and where we can, we will refinance developments on completion at better interest rates as the lending market improves,” concludes König. “We follow a simple recipe for success, secure long-term leases with high-quality tenants, maintaining low operational expenses while optimising capital structures, as well as ensuring transparency and regulatory compliance. We focus on creating sustained value.”
8 October 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc everywhere – and South Africa is no exception. At Redefine we are continuing to adapt to the “new normal” and are ensuring our business is on track and functioning well.We will provide more information on our plans and strategic initiatives during our upcoming annual results presentation in November.Please be aware, however, that in order to accommodate the external auditors’ requirement for added audit emphasis, particularly around asset valuations as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the finalisation of Redefine’s financial results for the year ended 31 August 2020 (“financial results”) may be delayed. Accordingly, the announcement of our annual results has been postponed from Monday 9 November, to Monday 30 November 2020.
Rosebank, South Africa, 06 October 2020 - JSE-listed diversified Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Redefine Properties is pleased to announce that it has reached a mutually beneficial and alternative arrangement relating to the conclusion of the sale of the Mall of the South (MOTS). As part of the agreement, the 73 111sqm regional shopping centre in Aspen Hills, south of Johannesburg will be acquired by a limited liability special purpose vehicle (SPV) for R1.76 billion in cash. RMB Investments and Advisory Proprietary Limited will hold an 80% equity interest in the SPV and Redefine 20%. The deal will be funded through a loan agreement with RMB. The transaction is expected to close before 1 November 2020 once all conditions are met, including approval by the Competition Commission and other usual approvals. Construction of MOTS began during 2013, and at that time the property was considered to be an attractive asset to complement Redefine’s retail property portfolio. In order to secure participation in the development, Redefine entered into a structured financing transaction with Zenprop and RMB, which would allow or require Redefine to purchase MOTS upon the occurrence of certain events. “Given that circumstances had changed dramatically, clearly unforeseen at the time of entering the put agreements, all the parties agreed to engage constructively to restructure the put arrangements,” says Andrew König, CEO, Redefine Properties. “The restructure allows additional time for MOTS to recalibrate to the post-COVID-19 retail real estate environment and provides Redefine with the opportunity to either acquire or dispose MOTS over a three-year period. We do not anticipate the restructured arrangement to have a significant adverse impact on our loan-to-value ratio.” König reiterated his views expressed at the pre-close briefing for the year ending 31 August 2020 that “property fundamentals are going to be challenged for the rest of 2020 and beyond” due to unprecedented and evolving market conditions. The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a blow to retail tenants and landlords already struggling with declining disposable incomes and a sluggish economy. The public health crisis temporarily closed malls nationwide at the end of March, when the Government enforced a strict lockdown, the hardest the world has seen. The transaction constitutes a category 2 transaction in terms of the JSE Listings Requirements and is not subject to approval by Redefine shareholders.
18 September 2020 - Our consistent ranking is a testament to our commitment to the highest standards of environmental, social and governance reporting and ethical approaches in our disclosures. It also underscores our approach to integrated thinking and the partnerships we share with our stakeholders by presenting information in an engaging and transparent manner. A top 10 honouree since 2015, Redefine has made it two in a row with a third place with honours ranking this year in the latest EY Excellence in Integrated Reporting awards for the top 100 JSE-listed companies.Our integrated report celebrates our efforts to improve the built environment for people and communities by creating, managing, and investing in spaces in a manner that changes lives. The report has grown to become a crucial tool in communicating to our stakeholders, the material economic, social and environmental impacts, risks and opportunities in building a sustainable business. Redefine was yet again the only REIT in the top 10.The purpose of the awards is to encourage and benchmark standards of excellence in the quality of integrated reporting to investors and other stakeholders in South Africa’s listed company sector. The awards are based on how well companies explain to stakeholders how they create value over time.The recognition strengthens our resolve to further embed key sustainability issues in our strategy and present information in a manner that enables stakeholders to analyse and assess our ability to create and sustain value in the medium- to long-term horizon.Property is our business, but our values run deep into our ethical foundation like roots. Our emphasis on monitoring, measuring and reporting on our ESG obligations has allowed us to thrive and enabled Redefine to be transparent and accurate in reporting into all aspects of performance. It also guides the strategic choices we make and enables us to stay on course to deliver sustainable value.According to the adjudicators, the best reports provide an understanding of short- to long-term risks while providing an excellent description of the group’s business model, including primary business activities as well as the outcomes.While we have developed our ESG strategy over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of embedding ESG considerations in our business strategy to ensure sustainability and has prompted us to accelerate the execution thereof.The recognition once again demonstrates our leadership in integrated reporting and highlights our commitment to transparency, disclosure and value creation. We are deeply encouraged and will continue to integrate sustainability considerations into everything we do.
Rosebank, South Africa, 27 August 2020 – Redefine Properties has entered into a temporary agreement with its Debt Capital Market investors to relax the corporate loan-to-value (LTV) covenant from 50% to 55% for the measurement periods of 31 August 2020 and 28 February 2021. The resolution was approved with overwhelming support, with 98% of the value of the votes cast in favour of the relaxation. Pursuant to the Terms and Conditions of the Domestic Medium-Term Note Programme, noteholders approved that following the financial half year ending 28 February 2021, the LTV covenant will revert to 50% for the financial year ending 31 August 2021 and thereafter.“The agreement provides us with additional headroom to absorb anticipated headwinds brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Andrew König, CEO, Redefine Properties.“We deeply appreciate the support and confidence in Redefine shown by our Debt Capital Market investors, as well as the collaborative spirit adopted by all parties to achieve an outcome which is in the interests of all stakeholders.”At the pre-close presentation, Redefine confirmed that its asset platform had been significantly readjusted for prevailing conditions, and the company was now more focused on a single external geography offshore in Poland. The reduction in geographies was to reduce the overall risk profile, improve the liquidity position and ease the loan to value ratio, which has been under a lot of pressure.“As the economy recovers, we will emerge stronger with an enhanced ability to execute on our key strategies which include managing risk through a streamlined, more focused offshore asset platform and zoning in resolutely on high-quality, well-located domestic assets,” König adds. The early action on balance sheet strengthening and selling non-core assets has meant that Redefine has access to R3.8 billion in undrawn access facilities, while having liquidity headroom to absorb as much as a 50% rental decline and 100% dividend withholding from foreign investments.
Johannesburg, 24 August 2020 – Managing risk through a streamlined, more focused offshore asset platform and zoning in resolutely on high quality, well-located domestic assets have helped Redefine lay the foundations for future growth when the COVID-19 uncertainty and volatility slows.However, at the same time, CEO Andrew Konig tells investors in the pre-close briefing for the year ending 31 August that “property fundamentals are going to be challenged for the rest of 2020 and beyond” due to unprecedented and evolving market conditions.Konig says Redefine’s asset platform has been significantly readjusted for prevailing conditions and the company is now more focused on a single external geography offshore in Poland.“This reduces our risk profile, improves our liquidity position and eases our loan to value ratio, which has been under a lot of pressure.”The sale of Redefine’s stake in UK fund RDI Reit for R2.3bn in June has enabled it to focus on local and East European investments. Other recent changes to streamline the business include the sale of its 90% interest in two Australian student accommodation facilities, as well as its residual interest in Cromwell Property Group. The elimination of non-recurring income also comes on stream through the acquisition of 100% of the equity value in M1 Marki from Chariot for Euro 122.8 million. Redefine owns 25% of Chariot, which will be disposed of, as part of the transaction, to settle the bulk of M1 Marki’s purchase consideration. CFO Leon Kok tells investors that early action on balance sheet strengthening and selling non-core assets means Redefine has undrawn access to R3.8 billion in cash, while having liquidity headroom to absorb as much as a 50% rental decline and 100% dividend withholding from foreign investments.Says Kok: “We have not yet seen a dramatic loss or material increase in lease cancellations – which is why our attitude towards rental relief has been generous. While we realise there may be short-term pain, our emphasis remains on sustainability as we would rather retain tenants for the long term.” He says stringent liquidity and risk management practices – which were established well ahead of COVID– now stand the company in good stead. “We are fortunate to have sufficient headroom to absorb headwinds if the recovery is slow.”He says rental relief in the second half has amounted to approximately R270m, with an increase in rental arrears of approximately R400m over the five months of the various levels of lockdown. Average cash collections over this period have amounted to about 82% of monthly gross billings. However, the brunt of this occurred during the hard lockdown in April and May and it has since “recovered to some extent”.Embracing its commitment to sustainability, Redefine supported its suppliers despite not being in receipt of any or receiving limited service delivery, such as cleaning and security services, so they did not have to suffer layoffs.“This has ensured our relationships remain entrenched and places us in a strong position to continue providing high quality services during and after the lockdown,” says Kok.However, he emphasizes that the next three months “remain critical, as the economy and property market is not out of the woods yet”. The focus therefore remains on keeping liquidity levels bolstered, focusing on cutting back on non-essential expenditure, while still supporting tenants through rental relief.Following recent news that Redefine disputed the validity of the put option exercised by property investment and development company Zenprop and RMB to sell the Mall of the South, Konig is pleased to tell investors that the parties are engaged in constructive discussions to resolve the dispute, which is expected to result in a mutually satisfactory outcome for all the parties. Konig says the hard work done to right size the footprint of the capital base has provided space to expand development activity in the logistics sector in Poland, which is offering attractive investment opportunities in an expanding market, which is expected to yield capital growth from further yield compression. “The European logistics platform is expected to grow significantly through exciting new opportunities on our doorstep, funded through our equity partnership with Madison.”Two recent completed developments in Poland of over 40,000 square metres add to an exciting further pipeline of seven projects of just over 189,000 square metres, which are 75% pre-let at an average income yield of 7.1%, and all funded via proceeds from the Madison transaction.Konig points out that Redefine has “done very well at working from home”, leveraging off its IT platform and instilling a culture of innovation and learning.“Our early commitment to refreshing our values, culture and focusing on our people has seen us make great strides in facing and overcoming this crisis together,” he says.“Our purpose remains to create and manage spaces in a way that changes lives and we have, for instance heightened our focus on ESG initiatives to further protect property values,” says Konig.Renewable energy remains a key strategic focus, with capacity expanded to 25.9 kw peaks during the period. “We will carry on ensuring the rollout of green energy and at the end of this financial year will have 100 office properties that are Green Star rated,” says Konig.“COVID 19 has intensified and sharpened pre-existing challenges. But we have done the hard yards and now stand in good stead as we prepare to enter into recovery,” he concludes.
Rosebank, South Africa, 20 July 2020: JSE-listed diversified Real Estate Investment Trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) has appointed Diane Radley to its board of directors as an independent, non-executive director with effect from today. The appointment of Ms. Radley is in line with Redefine’s stated intention of strengthening governance and board independence, broadening diversity and bolstering skills on its board. A qualified Chartered Accountant (SA), Ms. Radley is an alumnus of Rhodes University and holds an MBA from the Wits Business School as well as an AMP from Harvard. Ms. Radley has international experience both in her executive capacity and as a non-executive director. Her extensive board experience includes her roles as chairperson of the Marriot Unit Trust Company (Pty) Ltd, non-executive director at Transaction Capital Ltd, Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd and Base Resources Ltd in Australia. She was previously a non-executive director at Old Mutual Real Estate Holding Company Ltd. She led the Transaction Services Group at PwC which focused on due diligence and valuations on transactions for private equity funds, investment banks, strategic buyers, corporate acquirers and other equity providers prior to joining Altron as their CFO in 2001. In 2010 after a three-year term as group finance director of Old Mutual (Emerging Markets) she was appointed CEO of Old Mutual Investment Group until the end of 2016. In this role she was responsible for the property business and continued as a non-executive director on the board of Old Mutual Real Estate Holding Company after leaving Old Mutual. “We are delighted to welcome Diane to the board and look forward to working with her. Given her broad investment, real estate and board experience, she will be an invaluable resource as we continue to execute our strategy in a particularly challenging environment,” says Sipho Pityana, Chairperson, Redefine Properties. Redefine’s gender diversity policy promotes a voluntary target of 40% female representation on the board over a three-year period, while the racial diversity policy promotes a voluntary target of 50% black representation on the board over the same period. Ms. Radley’s appointment takes Redefine’s female representation on the board to 60%. “Diane’s appointment furthers our efforts to benefit from fresh and diverse perspectives from our independent directors,” concludes Sipho.
Shareholders are referred to the announcement released on SENS on 29 June 2020 wherein shareholders were advised that Redefine had:- announced a tender offer made to the holders of its outstanding €150,000,000 1.50 per cent Secured Exchangeable Bonds due September 2021 (the “Bonds”) exchangeable into the ordinary shares of RDI pursuant to which bondholders could elect to tender to have all or any of their Bonds redeemed by Redefine (the “Tender Offer”); and- concluded an agreement to dispose of up to 111 883 113 shares in RDI REIT P.L.C. (“RDI”) being its entire shareholding in RDI, representing 29.42% of the RDI shares in issue to controlled affiliates of Starwood Capital Group (the “Disposal”), conditional on the Tender Offer being accepted in respect of Bonds which, when added to the aggregate principal amount of Bonds previously exchanged, redeemed, purchased and cancelled by the Company was equal to 85% of the principal amount of Bonds originally issued (the “Offer Condition”).Redefine confirms that it received irrevocable tender offers for 100% of the outstanding Bonds and that all offers have been accepted. Redefine further confirms that the Offer Condition has been fulfilled and accordingly the Disposal of all of its 111 883 113 RDI shares for an aggregate sale consideration of £106 288 957.35 will be implemented on 10 July 2020.7 July 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa, 29 June 2020 – Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) continues to advance its strategic priority of strengthening its balance sheet to offset the ongoing uncertainty and negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a move to drive the business forward in the face of challenging property fundamentals locally and internationally, today it concluded a deal that will see global private investment firm Starwood Capital Group acquire its 111.9 million shares in UK-based RDI REIT for 95 pence per share. The deal represents a 20.9% premium to the ruling share price. The disposal generates Redefine’s GBP106.3 million, which translates, at the current exchange rate, to R2.3 billion. Given that a portion (49.8 million RDI shares) of Redefine’s investment in RDI is encumbered by an exchangeable bond it issued in September 2016, Redefine today made a tender offer to the holders of the outstanding EUR150 000 000 1.50% Secured Exchangeable Bonds due September 2021 exchangeable into the ordinary shares of RDI, of which EUR117.2 million are presently outstanding. Undertakings from bondholders in support of the tender offer totalling 77.1% of the amount outstanding has been received. Redefine’s financial director, Leon Kok, says that the disposal of the RDI shares and the settlement of the bonds (assuming all bonds are redeemed) will reduce Redefine’s loan-to-value ratio by approximately 1.1%. Following the disposal, which is denominated in pound sterling, and the redemption of bonds pursuant to the tender offer, which is denominated in euro, Redefine will restructure its pound sterling debt portfolio. Redefine’s chief executive officer, Andrew König, says the exit out of RDI substantially advances Redefine’s stated intention of simplifying and solidifying its asset platform, as well as eliminating multiple entry points for South African equity investors into the same investment opportunities. Furthermore, it also improves the company’s risk profile through eliminating a risk universe over which it has no direct management influence. König says that Redefine’s strategic intent to strengthen its balance sheet, recycle non-core assets and boost liquidity continues to place the company in a strong position to withstand the risks and challenges of the current uncertain operating environment. The disposal will also allow Redefine to re-strategise and re-allocate its financial and capital resources to position the company for sustained value creation in a post-COVID-19 environment. “In the prevailing environment, the knowns are outweighed by evolving unknowns. Our intention is to ensure we can manage the variables under our control while being extremely well placed to benefit once conditions improve,” concludes König.
Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 June 2020 – Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) announced today that its competitive bidding process to sell its interest in Journal’s two student properties in Australia has been concluded at AUS459 million. The disposal of its interests, comprising 1 391 beds is part of Redefine’s portfolio refinement and loan-to-value improvement strategy. During 2017, Redefine had acquired a 90% beneficial interest in Journal Student Accommodation Fund and during the following year Journal Swanston Sub Trust to develop the properties in Melbourne, Australia as purpose-built student accommodation and associated retail. Development of Leicester Street, an 804-bed facility, was completed in 2018 while the development of the 587-bed Swanston Street was completed in May 2020.Redefine’s financial director, Leon Kok, says a portion of the proceeds from the disposal will be used to settle the Australian loan facilities on the properties amounting to around AUS132 million and the remaining proceeds will be utilised to reduce Redefine’s other interest-bearing borrowings and enhance its liquidity. This transaction forms an integral part of Redefine’s loan-to-value improvement plan, which includes the disposal of approximately R8 billion of non-core assets across Redefine’s property asset platform, explains Kok. The transaction will also secure the release of 60 million Cromwell Property Group shares from an encumbrance with Redefine’s intention that such Cromwell shares be sold on the open market to further advance Redefine’s stated intention to strengthen its balance sheet and bolster liquidity.Redefine’s chief executive officer, Andrew König, says: “The transformation of the property asset platform is necessary to withstand the impact of the pandemic whose trajectory is still evolving. Recycling out of non-core assets at the top end of their capital value will enable us to strengthen our balance sheet and crystallise the benefits of net proceeds. We have consistently said our plan is to recycle capital into core markets where there is scope for scale, by disposing assets that no longer fit our long-term value creation strategy.”