Johannesburg, South Africa – 26 July 2017: JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) has announced that one of its largest industrial developments to date, the 1.6 million sqm S&J Industrial Estate in Germiston, is on track, with bulk infrastructure currently being rolled out. The prime site is majority owned by Redefine Properties together with Abland.Redefine Properties has committed R154 million for the bulk infrastructure to date. The S&J Industrial Estate, once part of the larger Simmer & Jack mines, spans over 163 hectares of developable land, located along the N3 highway adjacent to the Geldenhuys interchange. To be developed in a phased manner, the initial phases will all come up neighbouring Gosforth Park. Forming part of the greater bulk services project, construction on the two main roads within the estate has started. Once complete these roads will unlock 118 hectares of developable land of which approximately 60% will be available for disposal to end users.The development rights secured can accommodate manufacturing, logistics and commercial uses and includes the opportunity for a fuel station as well as a convenience retail centre within the node.S&J will feature urban design that seeks to improve the landscape value of the estate while retaining and celebrating its heritage. Elements like the winding house dating back to the 1950s, left behind by the mine will be incorporated into the aesthetics of the estate.With a focus on logistics and light manufacturing, businesses operating from the new estate will be able to circumvent the congestion that frequently occurs at Gillooly's interchange when traveling from and to Durban Port and inland destinations."The acquisition meets Redefine's strategy of identifying quality property opportunities in desirable nodes, enabling the business to secure strong lease covenants. We have received enquiries for over 380 000sqm in industrial land sales and development. We expect market interest to increase further once the major bulk services and roads, due for completion early in 2018 are established," says Johann Nell, National Asset Manager, Redefine Properties.Located amidst the burgeoning commercial and residential areas of Germiston, Bedford View, Meadowdale and Alberton, the well-connected site once fully developed is set to create over 5000 new jobs as well generate a substantial rates and taxes injection to the Ekurhuleni metro."The project greatly improves the chances of skilled and semi-skilled workers in the immediate area of getting work in the construction as well as logistics sectors," says Jaco Strydom, Project Manager, Abland.The S&J site is registered as a Strategic Urban Development (SUD) project with the City of Ekurhuleni. Under the auspices of SUD, the City will collaborate with registered SUDs at a strategic level to facilitate development."The accessibility and location of the site makes S&J an ideal gateway to the OR Tambo Aerotropolis corridor mooted to attract strategic investments in key economic sectors, including manufacturing and centralised logistics." says Nell.
Johannesburg – 08 May 2017: JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties has delivered another solid performance after increasing its distribution by 7.5% to 44.82 cents per share for the six months to 28 February 2017.Quality acquisitions and an astute, investor-driven strategy guided the company to steer through the ebbs and tides of ever-changing macro-economic conditions. At 28 February 2017, Redefine's diversified local property portfolio was valued at R67.7 billion (FY2016: R54.7 billion) and the Group's international real estate investments, were valued at R16.4 billion (FY2016: R18.0 billion) - growing in total by R11.4 billion during the period under review."These results come against the backdrop of increased uncertainty driven mainly by political issues playing out ahead of the ANC elective conference. This result predates the recent ratings downgrades, but what they show is that we are fundamentally very well positioned to weather the coming storm," says Redefine CEO Andrew Konig..During the interim period, management's primary domestic portfolio focus was on protecting, expanding and improving existing well-located properties."What really stands out are our solid property fundamentals. We are benefiting now from a strategy adopted some six years back to upgrade the quality and efficiency, as well as extend the lease maturity profile of our local portfolio and geographically diversify into real estate markets operating in hard currency markets," says Konig..During the period, tenant retention by gross leasable area was 86% from 83% a year earlier. The overall occupancy of the portfolio was 94.5% and a further 205 213 sqm was let across the portfolio from 171 832 sqm in the comparable interim period a year ago. Improved utility management and recoveries increased the property portfolio's operating margin to 82.6%.The company is reaping the rewards of a diversified asset platform. While international investments contributed 22.7% to distributable income, international real estate investments made up 19.5% of property assets."Geographic diversification remains very important as we access stable revenue flows and broaden our funding sources at attractive interest rates. We have refinanced a significant portion of our international debt over the period at competitive rates, which has been a very big achievement and will stand us in good stead going forward in a very volatile environment," says Konig.., who expects to see the offshore asset contribution to earnings increase even further in the future to around 25%.Redefine broadened its international exposure through expansion into student accommodation in Australia and subsequent to the half year, into Poland by investing a further Euro 59 million in Echo Polska Properties.In one of the largest local property transactions of the year, Redefine acquired all of the shares in property developer and capital growth fund The Pivotal Fund Limited (Pivotal) in a share swap transaction. The acquisition of Pivotal positions Redefine even more competitively in the commercial property sector in line with its strategic intent to become the landlord of choice in sought-after nodes in South Africa."This deal further diversifies our portfolio by investing in high quality assets, while the share swap conserves the use of cash and debt by Redefine," says Konig..Thanks to this acquisition the company acquired 32 Pivotal properties valued at R10.4 billion (including developments in progress and land holdings for future development). The portfolio consists of 17 office, 10 retail and five industrial properties. In addition to this an 11.8% share in Mara Delta Property Holdings Limited dual listed JSE and listed on the Mauritian Stock Exchange and a 37.1% interest in Nigerian-based Oando Wings Development Limited was also acquired.Furthermore, Redefine acquired a 90% equity investment of R337.9 million in Journal Student Accommodation Fund which is based in Australia and has received development approval for 804 beds at a well-located site in Melbourne. It is estimated that Redefine's total investment will be AUD125 million (R1.2 billion). Development of the site is anticipated to commence during June 2017.Redevelopment projects in the existing portfolio have an approved value of R785.8 million at an average yield of 6.8% and new development projects with an approved value of R4.7 billion at an average yield of 9.4% are in progress.Redefine adheres to a conservative funding strategy. Interest-bearing debt represented 39.8% (from 38.5% at the previous year end) of the value of its property assets at 28 February 2017. The average cost of debt is 7.6% (from 7.7% the previous year) and volatility in debt costs will be mitigated by interest rates that are hedged on 83% of total debt for an average period of 2.6 years."Redefine Properties continues to build an exceptionally diversified and quality property platform. We remain focused on deliberately procuring top quality properties and opportunities across strategic geographic locations - both locally and internationally," says Konig.."While the risk of further ratings downgrades is a real concern, our diversification strategy will continue as we purposefully seek out real estate that is best poised for sustained growth within three key sectors - office, retail and industrial," he concludes. Redefine anticipates its distribution per share for the second half of the 2017 financial year to grow in line with the first half's performance.
Johannesburg, South Africa – 17 February 2017: JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) announced today that it's Black River Park, an office precinct in Cape Town has been adjudged the winner in the Sustainable FM Operations category at the recent South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) Awards.Redefine beat six other nominees in the category including its own The Towers office precinct also in Cape Town.The award aims to recognise efforts by individuals, teams or corporates involved in Facilities Management, which have delivered the best sustainability initiative during the course of the year.Black River Office Park is the first office precinct in the country to receive Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) certified green star existing building ratings for all of its eight buildings, with a combined 75,000sqm of office space. Amongst its many firsts, Black River Office Park is also home to the first Green Star SA Existing Building Performance (EBP) certified building and the first building to receive a 6 Star Green Star SA EBP rating."The award validates our commitment to providing tenants with work spaces that are in itself conscious of the environment in which they operate and cost effective to run. It further demonstrates to our tenants, the community and all other stakeholders that our properties are managed to the highest standard of excellence," says Ilse Swanepoel, Head of Utilities at Redefine Properties.Black River Park also acclaimed with having Africa's largest integrated rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system. The roof top installation at the office park in Observatory is rated at 1.56MW and is made up of approximately 6,000 panels spread over 9,000sqm of roof space. It ranks amongst the world's top 20 commercial roof top solar installations. The office precinct has also implemented best practices in water, waste, energy, and overall sustainability. The park has retrofitted all of its common and parking areas with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) as well as instituted a cost-benefit sharing agreement with tenants to further the roll out of energy saving technology. The park has also engaged with tenants to reduce their energy consumption through tenant education and active audits.Aside the potential energy savings the park has been able to ratchet, its environmental policy also extends to waste management with over 75% of waste collected being diverted from landfills. All waste from the park is sorted on site into recyclable and non-recyclable materials including correct disposal of fluorescent tubing. The park also maintains ecologically friendly gardens with water sourced from boreholes on site.Sustainability is not a nice-to-have but rather a mindset that is embedded throughout the organisation. We have not rested after improving energy efficiencies and implementing water saving at our developments, we now assess our carbon footprint every year to determine the environmental impact of the company according to Swanepoel.As a leader in the property development sector, we are fully conscious of and active in our role in protecting and enhancing the environment."The Black River Office Park is exemplary for its commitment to and achievements in sustainability and our drive towards sustainability is based on overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the impact of green buildings on productivity and wellbeing of its occupants," Swanepoel says in conclusion.
Johannesburg, South Africa – February 2017: JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) has announced plans for Rosebank Link, a new 15 storey office tower located at 173 Oxford Road in the heart of bustling and cosmopolitan Rosebank. The building will offer tenants a unique location immediately adjacent to the Gautrain Station, The Zone and Rosebank Mall and has been planned for an estimated gross lettable area of over 19 000 sqm of office space with approximately 817sqm of retail on the ground floor. Aptly named Rosebank Link, the building will have a direct, convenient and safe access to the Gautrain Station through a ground level landscaped pedestrianised thoroughfare. The project will see the existing building transformed into an expressive steel and glass clad structure, a signature visual that will have an imposing presence on the skyline. Construction of the new building commenced with demolitions during July 2016 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. Once completed, the building will stand a total of 15 storeys above ground with a parking ratio of approximately four and a half bays per 100sqm. The development features two basement parking levels, five parkade levels above ground and a ground floor retail level with eight storeys of offices above the podium level."We strongly believe that the quality and location of Rosebank Link will be attractive to a wide range of potential tenants and dovetails with our strategy to become the landlord of choice for premium space in sought after nodes like Rosebank," says Andrew Konig, CEO, Redefine Properties."The future demand for Premium and A-grade office space in Rosebank is anticipated to rise significantly. We are excited about introducing this icon to Rosebank's skyline," adds Konig.Rosebank with its recent facelift from an older office node to a mixed-use precinct is attracting tenants looking to move out of their outdated and inefficient office spaces to more modern and Green Star rated properties. Rosebank Link is targeting a four-star Green Star rating, as demand for such sustainable building continues to grow. In addition to the development's focus on sustainable building, Rosebank Link is also designed to get as much daylight as possible deep into the building. At the heart is a multi-storey enclosed north facing atrium fashioned to capture sunlight.Indigenous plants on the roof are part of the overall design of the development. The green roofs will complement the installed energy and resource efficient HVAC systems. With this we have literally taken greenery to new heights, says Konig. Contributing further to Rosebank Link's green credentials include smart metering throughout, motion sensor based internal lighting, backup water and full back up on-site power generation. "The leasing velocity in Rosebank is underpinned by fundamental demand conditions of accessibility, affordability and amenities. Our continued investment in Rosebank is a testament to the strength of the node and our confidence in its future growth," says Konig in conclusion.
Johannesburg, South Africa – 09 February 2017: JSE-listed, internationally diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) announced today that Bridgitte Mathews has been appointed to the Board as an Independent non-executive director. She has also been approved as a member and chairperson of the Remuneration Committee.A qualified charted accountant, Ms Mathews is the founder of Ca Vie Investments (Pty) Ltd, a specialist business process management consulting firm. A member of African Women Chartered Accountants since 2007 and the Institute of Directors since 2011, her appointment as an Independent non-executive director comes into effect from today."We are delighted to welcome Bridgitte, the first entrepreneur on our Board of Directors. We look forward to tapping into her valuable operating experience and service on other boards. Her proven track record together with her leadership and passionate approach of governance makes her an ideal addition to the Board," says Andrew Konig, CEO, Redefine Properties. The Redefine Board approved a Gender Diversity Policy in 2015 in which the company adopted a voluntary target for female representation at Board level of 25%. The aim was to achieve this over a five year period, but with the various changes announced today, the company has achieved black female representation of 30% at Board level."Representation of women on our Board is increasingly a matter of strategic competitive advantage and a driver of business success. We continue to push our agenda of achieving gender equity and advancing diversity with addition of seasoned executives like Bridgitte to progress innovation and operations excellence across our international footprint.""Bridgitte shares in our vision to deliver shareholder value while furthering our people principles. She brings with her considerable experience from a distinguished career working with both large corporations and start-ups. We look forward to her valuable independent perspective and support our ongoing efforts to build a sustainable, long-term business," Konig adds.Ms Mathews is deputy chairperson of the Board, non-executive director and member of the audit committee at ATKV; non-executive director and chairperson of the audit, risk and IT committee, member of the social, ethics and remuneration committee at Suidwes Landbou Group; non-executive director and member of the audit and risk committee at PSG Group Limited and PSG Financial Services Limited; chairperson of the Board of trustees at Redefine Empowerment Trust; and a non-executive director and member of the audit and risk committee at OneLogix Group Limited.
In one of the largest local property transactions of the year, Pivotal shareholders approved the transaction in which JSE-listed, internationally diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) will acquire all of the shares in property developer and capital growth fund Pivotal.Redefine will acquire Pivotal's property portfolio worth R11.8 billion. Pivotal's investors can now participate in a REIT structure and will receive Redefine and Echo Polska Properties (EPP) shares in exchange for their Pivotal shares, offering exposure to foreign currency earnings and diversified income distributions.In terms of the scheme of arrangement, shareholders in Pivotal receive approximately 138.54 Redefine shares plus 9.38 EPP shares for every 100 Pivotal shares held. Once implemented, Pivotal will be delisted from the JSE and become a wholly owned subsidiary of Redefine, with its staff being absorbed into Redefine.Redefine CEO Andrew Konig says the deal - which is expected to be implemented in early January 2017 - "ticks all the right boxes where it matters most".Apart from creating operational efficiencies and having a significant strategic impact, the investment also allows for strong capital optimisation, the ability to engage talent and to further enhance Redefine's position in the market."This deal further diversifies our portfolio by investing in high quality assets, while the share swap limits the use of cash and debt by Redefine," says Konig.In March 2016 Redefine was involved in the largest single property portfolio transaction in Poland when it broadened its offshore footprint via an investment into EPP and its 1.2 billion euro high-yielding commercial platform. Pivotal was a co-investor with Redefine acquiring 31 million shares in EPP."Pivotal's shares in EPP will be distributed as part of transaction, which is the first step in creating liquidity for EPP," explains Konig. EPP listed on the JSE in September this year.The flagship property in the Pivotal portfolio is the 70 000sqm Alice Lane precinct in Sandton which offers exciting potential. Notable developments in the portfolio include the Loftus Park mixed use development in Pretoria and the Kyalami Corner shopping centre north of Johannesburg."This portfolio is well occupied, with quality tenants and a healthy escalation in leases. It is important we have assets that can withstand these difficult times, with efficiency, tenant traction and potential for capital appreciation. This deal transforms the health of our office portfolio," says Konig.Konig is excited about the potential of harnessing a significant development pipeline in the region of R2.4 billion.
3 November 2016 JSE-listed, internationally diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) has harnessed the benefits of a diversified portfolio and operational efficiencies to deliver a solid performance for the full year to end August 2016. While South African businesses continue to be buffeted by ongoing political uncertainty and economic headwinds, Redefine's high quality property portfolio, a broad source of funding, its effective hedging strategy and the robust performance from offshore assets has enabled the company to achieve continued expansion despite the challenging conditions. "There is no doubt that in the prevailing macro-economic environment trading conditions have been difficult. For Redefine this has been a year of alignment - we have aligned our structures and refined our business processes. Our focus remains on operating efficiently, investing strategically, optimising capital, engaging talent and growing our reputation," says CEO Andrew Konig. In Rand terms, the total distributable income for the year was up 21.9% to R3.9 billion and, with a second half distribution of 44.3 cents per share (up 8%), the full year distribution per share increased by 7.5% to 86 cents. Prospects for 2017 are subject to numerous factors which remain uncertain, including volatile financial markets, the continuing possibility of a sovereign credit downgrade and the outcome of the offer to acquire Pivotal. Growth in distributable income per share for 2017 is anticipated to range between 7.5% to 8.5%. During the past year Redefine expanded its property base by R8.9 billion rand, with the bulk of the investment into a 1.2 billion Euro high-yield commercial portfolio in Poland. "International property assets total 22.6% of assets, up from 14.8% a year ago, contributing 25.9% of income in the period versus 16.7% in the previous year," says Konig. In September, Redefine successfully placed Euro 150 million exchangeable bonds due in 2021, with the proceeds to be used in part settlement of the bridge facility used to fund the investment into Poland. Redefine's loan to value ratio was 38.5% at the year end, which chief financial officer Leon Kok says is regarded as satisfactory. "Given concerns about higher interest rates, 82% of our debt is fixed, which protects us against interest rate spikes and the impact on income going forward," says Kok. Assets under management at the year end totalled R72.7 billion. Given ongoing currency volatility, Redefine adopted a policy of hedging foreign currency. Kok says the company took a strategic decision in late May that the rand was looking unusually weak and hedged exposure to the pound, the euro and the Australian dollar just ahead of Brexit. "The hedging policy certainly stands us in good stead for 2017," says Kok. "Despite the tough local trading conditions it is gratifying that we have maintained our operating margin at 80%," says Kok. Notwithstanding a low growth environment, Redefine has continued a strong focus on improving its local portfolio through development, including expansion and improvements at the Centurion, Benmore, Kenilworth and South Coast malls. "We are looking at all sectors where we have strategically located positions," says Konig. "For example, we are in the process of developing the Rosebank Link on the doorstep of Gautrain and are also harnessing the use of our industrial land in KZN, Cape Town and Johannesburg with specific expansion into the industrial logistics sector." In the new financial year, Redefine will progress on the proposed acquisition of the entire issued share capital of listed Pivotal Fund, a development focused fund with an A-grade portfolio of completed income producing properties and developments, which will add R11 billion to the local property portfolio. Redefine sees attractive opportunities in the student accommodation market. "Despite the ?fees must fall' protests, we expect the demand for quality accommodation space to intensify, as students who are able to afford it, demand quality" says Konig. By the end of 2017 Redefine intends supplying around 10,000 student beds in SA, and is also diversifying into student accommodation in Australia.
12 September 2016 REDEFINE PROPERTIES LIMITED(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)(Registration number 1999/018591/06)JSE share code: RDF ISIN: ZAE000190252(Approved as a REIT by the JSE)("Redefine" or the "company") THE REFERENCE PRICE, INITIAL EXCHANGE PRICE AND INITIAL EXCHANGE RATIO RELATING TO THE ISSUE BY REDEFINE OF EUR 150 MILLION SECURED BONDS EXCHANGEABLE INTO SHARES OF REDEFINE INTERNATIONAL P.L.C. Shareholders are referred to the announcement released on SENS on 6 September 2016 in which they were advised that Redefine had successfully placed secured bonds (the "Bonds") with a principal amount of EUR 150 million exchangeable into ordinary shares (the "RIPLC Shares") of Redefine International P.L.C. (the "RIPLC"). Shareholders are advised that the initial exchange price of the Bonds has been set at EUR 0.61904 per RIPLC Share and the initial exchange ratio of the Bonds has been set at 161,540.61 RIPLC Shares per Bond. The initial exchange price represents a premium of 26.25% above the reference price for the RIPLC Shares of EUR 0.49033, and was determined on the basis set out in the SENS announcement released on 6 September 2016. Settlement and delivery of the Bonds will take place on 16 September 2016.
REDEFINE PROPERTIES LIMITED(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)(Registration number 1999/018591/06)JSE share code: RDF ISIN: ZAE000190252(Approved as a REIT by the JSE)("Redefine" or "the company") ISSUE BY REDEFINE OF EUR 150 MILLION SECURED BONDS EXCHANGEABLE INTO SHARES OF REDEFINE INTERNATIONAL PLC Shareholders are advised that Redefine has successfully placed secured bonds (the "Bonds") with a principal amount of EUR 150 million, exchangeable into ordinary shares (the "RIPLC Shares") of Redefine International P.L.C. ("RIPLC"), the proceeds of which will be used to refinance debt raised by Redefine on its acquisition of its shareholding in Echo Polska Properties N.V. The Bonds will be issued with a coupon of 1.50%, payable semi-annually in arrear. The initial exchange price of the Bonds will be set at an exchange premium of 26.25% to a reference price (the "Reference Price") determined as the euro-equivalent of the arithmetic average of the daily volume weighted average prices of a RIPLC Share listed on the London Stock Exchange plc (the "LSE") on each of the five scheduled trading days commencing on (and including) 5 September 2016, such Reference Price being subject to a floor of EUR 0.45673 and a cap of EUR 0.51902. The Reference Price, the initial exchange price and the initial exchange ratio will be announced by Redefine on or around 9 September 2016. The Bonds will be issued at 100% of their principal amount and, unless previously exchanged, redeemed, or repurchased and cancelled, will be redeemed at par (subject to the Redefine's settlement option referred to below) on 16 September 2021. Holders of the Bonds will have the option to require an early redemption of their Bonds on the third anniversary of the issue date, at their principal amount, together with accrued interest. Upon exchange Redefine will have the flexibility to settle in cash, deliver the underlying RIPLC Shares or any combination thereof. Further details of the terms of the Bonds are contained in the press releases available on Redefine's website. 6 September 2016 SponsorJava Capital
Redefine Properties Limited ("Redefine" or the "Issuer") announces the launch of an offering of senior, secured exchangeable bonds due 2021 (the "Bonds") with a principal amount of EUR 150 million, exchangeable into ordinary shares (the "Shares") of Redefine International P.L.C. (the "Company"). The Bonds will be marketed with a coupon range of 1.25 - 1.75%, payable semi-annually in arrear. The initial exchange price of the Bonds is expected to be set within a premium range of 22.5 - 30.0% to a reference price (the "Reference Price") determined as the euro-equivalent of the arithmetic average of the daily volume weighted average prices of a Share listed on the London Stock Exchange plc (the "LSE") on each of the five scheduled trading days commencing on (and including) the date hereof, such Reference Price being subject to a floor of EUR 0.45673 and a cap of EUR 0.51902. The Bonds will be issued at 100% of their principal amount and, unless previously exchanged, redeemed, or repurchased and cancelled, will be redeemed at par (subject to the Issuer's settlement option referred to below) on 16 September 2021. Holders of the Bonds will have the option to require an early redemption of their Bonds on the third anniversary of the issue date, at their principal amount, together with accrued interest. Upon exchange the Issuer will have the flexibility to settle in cash, deliver the underlying Shares or any combination thereof. The Issuer will have the option to redeem any outstanding Bonds at their principal amount together with accrued interest under certain customary conditions, as further described in the terms and conditions of the Bonds (the "Terms and Conditions"). The Issuer will also, at maturity or upon early redemption, have the option to deliver a combination of Exchange Property, in whole or in part, and cash, subject to customary conditions described in the Terms and Conditions.The Issuer's obligations in respect of the Bonds will be secured under English law by, inter alia, a first fixed charge over the pledged property (which shall initially include such number of underlying Shares as is determined at final pricing (the "Exchange Property")) and the Stock Lending Agreements entered into by the Chargors (each as defined below), pursuant to the Security agreements between Redefine Retail (Pty) Ltd, Madison Property Fund Managers Holdings Limited, Madison Property Fund Managers Limited and Redefine Global (Pty) Ltd (the "Chargors") and the Trustee. Any adjustment to the Exchange Property, including in respect of cash dividends, shall trigger a corresponding adjustment to the pledged property. The Bonds are expected to be rated by Moody's. The Bonds will be rated after the Settlement Date.In the context of the transaction, the Issuer and its subsidiaries will be subject to a lock-up undertaking in relation to the Shares for a period ending 90 days after the Settlement Date (as defined below), subject to customary exceptions. Certain final terms of the Bonds are expected to be determined and announced today and settlement is expected on or around 16 September 2016 (the "Settlement Date"). Application will be made to admit the Bonds to trading on the Open Market (Freiverkehr) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by no later than 90 days following the Settlement Date. The Issuer will use the proceeds of the issuance of the Bonds to refinance debt, provided by the Sole Bookrunner and associated entities, incurred in the acquisition of a majority interest in Echo Prime Properties B.V. J.P. Morgan Securities plc is acting as Sole Bookrunner on this transaction. J.P. Morgan Securities plc, the Issuer and the Chargors will enter into stock lending agreements (the "Stock Lending Agreements") on or around the date hereof in respect of Shares representing approximately 10 per cent. of the Company's issued share capital for the purposes of facilitating investors' hedging activities. For more information, please contact:Redefine Properties Limited:Redefine Place3rd Floor2 Arnold RoadRosebankGautengSouth Africa2196 Telephone: +27 11 283 0032Attention: Leon Kok 5th September 2016 Company sponsor: Java Capital NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN BY THE ISSUER, THE COMPANY, THE SOLE BOOKRUNNER OR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE AFFILIATES THAT WOULD PERMIT AN OFFERING OF THE BONDS OR POSSESSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF THIS PRESS RELEASE OR ANY OFFERING OR PUBLICITY MATERIAL RELATING TO THE BONDS IN ANY JURISDICTION WHERE ACTION FOR THAT PURPOSE IS REQUIRED. PERSONS INTO WHOSE POSSESSION THIS PRESS RELEASE COMES ARE REQUIRED BY THE ISSUER, THE COMPANY AND THE SOLE BOOKRUNNER TO INFORM THEMSELVES ABOUT, AND TO OBSERVE, ANY SUCH RESTRICTIONS. THIS PRESS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES OR TO U.S. PERSONS (AS DEFINED IN REGULATION S UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT). THIS PRESS RELEASE IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL SECURITIES OR THE SOLICITATION OF ANY OFFER TO BUY SECURITIES, NOR SHALL THERE BE ANY OFFER OF SECURITIES IN ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH OFFER OR SALE WOULD BE UNLAWFUL. THE BONDS MAY BE DEEMED TO BE THE SECURITIES OF A "COVERED FUND" FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE VOLCKER RULE.THE ISSUER IS NOT REGISTERED UNDER THE UNITED STATES INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940 AND INVESTORS WILL NOT HAVE THE BENEFIT OF THAT ACT. THIS PRESS RELEASE AND THE OFFERING WHEN MADE ARE ONLY ADDRESSED TO, ANDDIRECTED IN MEMBER STATES OF THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA (THE "EEA") AT PERSONS WHO ARE "QUALIFIED INVESTORS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF ARTICLE 2(1)(E) OF THE PROSPECTUS DIRECTIVE ("QUALIFIED INVESTORS"). FOR THESE PURPOSES, THE EXPRESSION "PROSPECTUS DIRECTIVE" MEANS DIRECTIVE 2003/71/EC, AS AMENDED. IN ADDITION, IN THE UNITED KINGDOM THIS PRESS RELEASE IS BEING DISTRIBUTED ONLY TO, AND IS DIRECTED ONLY AT, QUALIFIED INVESTORS (I) WHO HAVE PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN MATTERS RELATING TO INVESTMENTS FALLING WITHIN ARTICLE 19(5) OF; THE FINANCIAL SERVICES AND MARKETS ACT 2000 (FINANCIAL PROMOTION) ORDER 2005, AS AMENDED (THE"ORDER") AND QUALIFIED INVESTORS FALLING WITHIN ARTICLE 49(2)(A) TO (D) OF THE ORDER, AND (II) TO WHOM IT MAY OTHERWISE LAWFULLY BE COMMUNICATED (ALL SUCH PERSONS TOGETHER BEING REFERRED TO AS "RELEVANT PERSONS"). 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Johannesburg, South Africa — JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) has announced its intention to acquire the entire issued share capital of The Pivotal Fund (JSE: PIV). Pivotal, a development focused investment fund, has an A-grade portfolio of completed income producing properties and developments. Under the terms of the transaction, valued at R6 billion, shareholders in Pivotal will receive from Redefine 460 million new Redefine Properties shares plus 31 million shares in Echo Polska Properties (EPP), effectively placing Pivotal shareholders in the commercial position they would have been in had Pivotal unbundled its EPP shares to its shareholders. The Redefine shares will be issued ex-dividend, anticipated to be at the end of November 2016 and the EPP share will be delivered during January 2017. Redefine Properties' strategic investment in EPP will remain intact. The deal, which is subject to the usual regulatory processes for a transaction of this nature, will be implemented through a scheme of arrangement which requires 75% approval at a general meeting of Pivotal shareholders. Redefine Properties will delist Pivotal once the deal has been concluded which is expected before the end of the year. Andrew Konig, CEO, Redefine Properties says, "An irrevocable buy-in from a significant number of Pivotal shareholders has been received. Our intention is not to be a shareholder as we can only achieve the full potential for synergies with complete ownership." "Development funds like Pivotal are seeing twin challenges of increasing cost of capital as well as the macro environment putting pressure on development returns," adds Konig. The acquisition of the Pivotal portfolio enables Redefine to continue with its investment philosophy to recycle its capital through disposing assets no longer aligned to its long term investment strategy and replacing them with prime (Pivotal) assets. ?'We believe we bring compelling value to shareholders of both companies with Pivotal shareholders receiving a long-term upside potential of an investment in Redefine, increasingly recognised for its performance in a difficult and competitive market." The deal will see Redefine Properties which already co-owns S&J Industrial Estate in Germiston and Rosebank Galleria with Pivotal, gain significant reach in Sandton and consolidate its position in Rosebank. "The acquisition demonstrates Redefine's strategic intent to become the landlord of choice in A-grade office space in sought after areas in South Africa. Redefine has shifted its strategy in recent years to become a more urban focused landlord by acquiring modern properties in better performing nodes," says Konig. Pivotal's property portfolio is valued at R12.9 billion and its income producing assets comprise 8 retail properties, 10 offices and 3 industrial sites, a number of development properties with 4 active developments. Pivotal's African assets in markets like Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya and Zambia will be sold post implementation. Once the deal has been finalised, Redefine will operate approximately 350 properties totalling nearly 5.7 million square metres across the country. According to Konig, the deal provides Redefine with "a unique opportunity" in the current environment to acquire a portfolio of well leased modern properties in a single transaction. The acquisition further cements our position as one of the top landlords in Sandton, a node where we have grown to almost 30% of our office portfolio from almost no exposure five years or so back and allows us to make meaningful expansion into Bryanston and Centurion. In Sandton, Redefine will add crown jewels like Alice Lane with tenants like Sanlam, Santam, Standard Bank, and Virgin Active South Africa. Part of the development at Alice Lane also includes an office building likely for completion during April 2017 to house legal heavy weight Bowman Gilfillan. Besides this acquisition, Redefine Properties significantly broadened its offshore footprint earlier in the year via a ?260 million equity investment into EPP which has a ?1.2 billion high-yielding commercial platform comprising 18 properties in the rapidly-expanding and exciting Polish market. To continue on its growth trajectory, EPP plans to broaden its shareholder base by listing on the JSE during the first half of September this year.
Redefine Properties' commitment to best practice stakeholder reporting was rewarded once again at the 2016 Ernst & Young's Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards today when it was ranked 5th in the top 10 companies. Redefine Properties' report was singled out as an excellent example of how a property company can tell its value creation story. This is the second year in a row that Redefine Properties finds itself in the impressive list of firms heralded for their integrated reporting. Last year, Redefine was ranked 6th in the top 10 of the JSE's Top 100 companies.Leon Kok, Financial Director, Redefine Properties, says "We regard the integrated report as a formidable tool to communicate with our stakeholders." "The report is an outcome of our ongoing efforts to enhance communication with our stakeholders in a forthright manner that addresses prospects and challenges and remains for us, a benchmark for disclosure and accountability." "The integrated report offers our stakeholders a window into how we are creating value both inside and outside of the company. The key benefit to integrated reporting is the way it's deepened our sustainability focus and helped embed greater levels of integrated thinking throughout our organisation." According to the adjudicators, the report highlights and provides a comprehensive view of risks and is complemented by a number of risk heat maps that provides an understanding of the short to long term risks facing the company. The report also provides an excellent description of the companies' business model that includes primary business activities as well as the outcomes. "We are delighted to receive recognition that our integrated reporting journey is on the right track and it motivates us to continue improving our stakeholder communication," says Kok in conclusion.
Johannesburg – 1 August 2016: The weaker economic outlook continues to add pressure on office rentals, but JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) says a well located office block with the right offering "should let"."It is unlikely the current economic conditions are going to change any time soon and this means the outlook for the office rental market remains gloomy. Secondary properties in particular remain under significant pressure to retain and gain tenants. But this should not mean there is no opportunity in this office space either," says Redefine's chief operating officer, David Rice.Redefine's strategy three years ago to improve the profile of its office portfolio by acquiring modern properties in better nodes, redeveloping and upgrading existing properties places it in a stronger position today."We are now far more invested in areas such as Sandton and Rosebank than previously, for example, and have sold off what we deemed to be secondary properties and will continue to do so," says Rice.Today Redefine's exposure to these suburbs is approximately R6 billion.Redefine's new home, Rosebank Towers, a 25 000sqm office block, has been pre-let with rentals upwards of R200/sqm, reflecting the interest in the Rosebank node.As a result Redefine will shortly begin the demolition of Rosebank Mews and develop a premium grade, 4 star, green-rated office block of approximately 18 000sqm with an abundance of parking, access to the Gautrain, restaurants and retail outlets .In addition, Redefine is focusing, as a priority, on upgrading the quality of buildings in these and other popular nodes. "We expect rental growth in Rosebank to continue whereas most nodes are not experiencing real rental growth."There is no doubt the landscape for office space is changing and we need to be able to deliver on these future needs. Facilities that allow an office worker to get on with their day-to-day lives with as little hassle as possible will continue to be in demand; as will the right geography and access to facilities," says Rice.The need for better utilisation of space is increasing as the space per person in the working world shrinks. This is not just an SA phenomenon as major moves in this direction take place globally with many big companies reverting to open plan environments, without dedicated workspaces - even for their executives.Demand for serviced offices is a trend that needs to be taken seriously. In line with its continuous pursuit of quality, Redefine has therefore partnered with a flexible workspace solutions company to grow its exposure in this area of the market.This partnership sees Redefine developing approximately 5 000 square metres across seven sites where it plans to be able to offer flexible workplace solutions. "We hope this will be the first of many developments along these lines. Demand for serviced offices and flexible leases will also increase as more staff members work remotely," says Rice.In addition the jury is out on future parking requirements in office blocks and whether the current requirement will be reduced in time.The need for greener space and for older properties to be retrograded via green star ratings will increase, as more companies are required to report on their broader impact on the environment."Our aim is for all new offices to have at least a four star green rating and are already making progress on rating existing buildings and hope to be able to certify a number of them by the end of the next financial year," says Rice.A good relationship with tenants, their representatives and brokers remains crucial as these and other trends unfold and those companies that fail to maintain these high levels of trust and delivery will struggle.A sharp focus on operational efficiency, diversity, core portfolio quality, the fine tuning of structures and strong relationships with key stakeholders will continue to drive growth and open the door to opportunities in the office space."It need not all be doom and gloom - but future success will require a very clear strategy to be mapped out and delivered upon. The right product will still work and achieve good value despite the challenging economic environment," concludes Rice.
Johannesburg, South Africa – JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) has delivered a strong performance during the half year to end February 2016 despite the stiff headwinds facing South Africa's economy and ongoing political uncertainty.A 6.9% increase to 41.7 cents a share in the distribution for the six months to end February 2016 has been declared. In rand terms distributable income rose 29.4% to R1.9bn. The company maintains its guidance of 6-7% distribution growth for the full 2016 year on the back of its well-diversified asset base and the continuing execution of its key strategic priorities.While economic uncertainty and financial market volatility is ongoing, a sharp focus continues on operational efficiency and managing relationships with key stakeholders, including local government. CEO Andrew Konig says these are "challenges we are up to".Konig says in the period under review management focused on "how we can do things even better." This was targeted at creating efficiencies and also resulted in a realigning of structures to cope with new demands and beefing up of the senior management structure as part of a broader asset and property management strategy.The bulk of Redefine's local strategy is centred on existing properties and on servicing its significant development pipeline. Leases covering 282 070 sqm were renewed at an average rental increase of 4.3%, with the retention rate at a pleasing 83%.During the review period, the company completed projects totalling R1.8 billion representing investment of R700m, outgunning acquisitions for the period of about R400m. Disposals amounted to R1.2 billion, while new development projects with an approved value of R1.1 billion are currently in progress."We have successfully recycled capital domestically to part-fund development as well as new acquisitions," explains Konig.Net arrears improved to R34m from R42m at end 31 August 2015 and the company's financial director Leon Kok says one of the core tenets of Redefine's business model is its prudent management of cash. "Cash management is critically important and we have also put a greater emphasis on the quality of tenants at inception of leases," says Kok.High debt funding costs are expected to constrain future development in the property sector locally, but a rerating of Redefine's share price has offset the increase in the costs of debt.The major disposal during the six months related to Redefine's R2.2 billion government tenanted office portfolio, it has been the company's stated intention to dispose these of assets. During the period it entered into an agreement with Delta Property Fund which acquired approximately 60% of this portfolio valued at R1.3 billion, in return for Delta shares.Opportunities for select industrial development remains on the agenda - as an example, Redefine entered into a joint venture with Pivotal and Abland whereby Redefine acquired a 45% interest in S & J land earmarked for an industrial precinct to be serviced and developed in phases based on demand. S&J land comprises a 160 hectare (1.6 million sqm) prime industrial parcel of land located in Germiston, Johannesburg.On the retail front, a new development phase includes the Stoneridge Shopping Centre, a 51 917 sqm open-air lifestyle shopping centre located in Edenvale, Johannesburg.A core ongoing strategy is to exploit attractive offshore yield spreads, where debt can potentially be locked in for five years at exceptionally low rates. The company's offshore portfolio is set to grow from 21% currently to 24% once the company's ground-breaking Polish deal kicks in later this year.Redefine has broadened its offshore footprint via an initial 75% investment into a 1.2 billion euro high-yielding commercial platform comprising 18 properties in the rapidly-expanding and exciting Polish market. The initial stake will reduce to 49.9% as a result of a placement of shares with investors.Anti-trust clearance has been received for this deal and the company anticipates the acquisition to be fully implemented on June 1 and to add accretive income in the last quarter 2016 at an additional one cent of distribution per share.Apart from the Polish deal, the company is also in the process of establishing a limited investment presence in Spain and further diversification in student accommodation in Australia."Local property fundamentals remain challenging, with issues like electricity price increases and the impact of drought conditions still permeating the industry. But we continue to deliver on our strategy of diversifying, growing and improving the quality of our core property portfolio, while ensuring that we focus on our people, the fine-tuning of our management structures and delivery to all our stakeholders," concludes Konig.
Following our acquisition of Echo's developed property portfolio comprising 10 retail centres and eight office developments in major cities in Poland, one of the first things we did was invite the investment community on a road trip to the country to view the properties and get insight on the property fundamentals and growth potential in Poland. Over the past two decades the Polish economy has continued to gather momentum, growing steadily at over 3.5% on the back of the highest allocation of structural funds by the European Union. It's also seen interest and investment from the West, the East and now from South Africa. According to CBRE, retail business is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Polish economy and ranked as the 19th most attractive market globally for retail brands. Our recent acquisition gives us a good spread over Poland's retail geography and affords us over 457,400 sqm of total lettable area in major Polish cities. Our retail assets are let out to leading retailers with strong turnover growth and international brands like Samsung, H&M, IKEA, Carrefour, Zara amongst others. Office space is mainly leased to blue chip tenants. Adrian Jardine, Equity Analyst at Avior Capital Markets who has been cautiously watching South African REIT's foray into offshore markets returned impressed with Redefine's approach to the market. He says, "The acquisition is good and so is the scale. Equally impressive is the quality of the core portfolio and the in-country team." "I am really excited about the development pipeline which will unlock value for shareholders. I am equally charmed by the Polish economy's fairy tale like story," he concluded. Leon Allison, Fund Manager at Peregrine Capital, said for him the biggest positive was the country's macro environment which continues to be positive and headed in the right direction with good growth prospects in the medium to long term. "While any change in government introduces a level of uncertainty, the risks seem manageable." "Poland has the assets to drive growth including an educated workforce; affordable labour, strategic location and first world infrastructure." "Although I am not a fan of office assets as long term strategic play and would prefer they sell into the investment market, retail is good enough to work with," he added. Bandi Zondo, Equity Research Analyst (Real Estate) at Standard Bank says the acquisition of Echo's portfolio is one of the better deals Redefine has concluded in a long time. The key upside is the platform and development pipeline as well as the local team's skill and strength. "It is a huge opportunity for Redefine to unlock value in their portfolio both domestically and internationally," Zondo said. The local team made a lasting impression on Keillen Ndlovu, Head of listed property funds at Stanlib who said, "The trip was better than expected and from my meetings with them it is clear that they are very knowledgeable, run a sound business and are an operationally strong and diverse team." "We don't see this often but the team's forthrightness and disclosure during site visits, where we even got to see competitor projects is praiseworthy." "While concerns are part and parcels of deals this size, the portfolio of both existing and potential looks good and carries immense potential." "In my view, the appetite for retail property is likely to prevail from what I have seen. Also Business Process Outsourcing by multinationals continue to head towards Poland and that is another comforting factor." "I do foresee challenges in the office market with lots of supply coming through so securing best tenants with long term leases will be key. Poland has been strong in 2015 and based on the macro environment is expected to have a strong 2016 as well. Romania has been courting investors and getting attention, but Poland is probably going to continue to grow the fastest given its diverse market." Evan Jankelowitz, Fund Manager at Sesfikile Capital returned very satisfied with the competency and depth of the management team in Poland. "The assets - both property and people are first rate and the potential in both extensions and developments are significant." "While risks in property are inherent, on the face value this is a redefining deal," says Evan. The Poland tour visited the cities of Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, Szczecin, Poznan and Kalisz.
If you haven't already heard about Katowice, Kielce or Kalisz, chances are the zloty hasn't dropped yet. In 2015, Poland's Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Shared Services Centres (SSC) employed over 150,000 people, the largest employer in the country after mining. A number of reasons work in tandem to favour the fortunes of Poland's emerging cities - economic stability, highly qualified pool of graduates and first world infrastructure. Many global corporations and ICT firms are increasingly setting up operations in Poland's regional cities for cost efficiencies and access to labour pools. Even the iconic Fiat 500 is manufactured in Katowice. So if you haven't been paying attention till now, it is time to polish up. The rapid proliferation of the business services industry in Poland is manna for the property sector. Forecasts by the Association of Business Service Leaders in Poland predict the sector will employ over 250,000 people by 2020. Accommodating the bulging sector and those who serve it presents a basket of opportunities for Redefine. As these cities continue to grow the number of jobs and attract blue chips corporations like Microsoft, Intel and Citigroup - the war on talent will simply drive more people to the regional cities in search of jobs. Retail benefits from lower unemployment figures as rising disposable income encourages social life and spending. While prime shopping centre rental fees remain highest in Warsaw, yields are increasing slightly in the agglomerations of Poznan, Krakow, and the Tri-City, while remaining stable in the other markets. The retail segment was the most active of all commercial real estate sectors: projects worth approximately Euro 2.261 billion changed hands last year, the highest result since the record-breaking 2006. Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) reported last year that an increasing number of retailers were being more selective with regard to expansion in new locations with the quality of any new retail project high on the check-list. The inflow of foreign brands in 2015 was slightly lower than in 2014, with only 18 new international entries (as compared to 24 in the previous year). It is however prudent to note that this temporarily lower activity did not stem from any lack of attractiveness of the Polish retail market, but rather from the search for good franchise partners. The most anticipated fashion debut on the Polish retail market last year was that of Superdry (from the UK). We look forward to the next few years as the market anticipates debuts by other international brands like Forever21, Banana Republic & FCUK. Amazon recently moved the unglamorous industrial property sector centrestage when it opened fulfilment centres in Wroclaw and Poznan to service mostly the German market. Upgrading of transport links to the rest of Europe has given Poland the necessary license to market itself as Europe's mid-point and lure operators to build warehouses as well as business outsourcing centers. Poland's power play in warehousing, a lifeline to e-tailers, has meant that vacancy rates have been consistently declining. Big online retailers like Amazon vie for distribution space closer to population centers to make deliveries quickly. Our right of first offer on over Euro 500m projects, with more than 80% of newly constructed GLA provides additional growth and value upside backed by developer guarantees from Echo. It is also an honour to report that this acquisition has landed Griffin Real Estate, the Investor of the Year accolade at the 8th EuropaProperty CEE Retail Awards for its investment success in 2015. Griffin won for its role in Redefine's acquisition of a majority stake in Echo Investment, the largest transaction on Poland's commercial real estate market in recent years. Poland's emergence from the ashes of communism to first class investment opportunity over the last few decades is as good a confidence builder as it is a value builder. Healthy fundamentals across retail, commercial and industrial space point to a revival in fate of Poland's regional cities and may well extend to its smaller cities.And for that reason using the word regional cities or tier-2 cities in Poland's context can sometimes be a misnomer. If Warsaw has dominated the news and economic narrative as the capital city, Poland's regional cities are attracting significant capital of their own.
Statistics on real GDP growth from the European Union show Poland will continue its solid pace of 3.5% growth both in 2016 and 2017. Comparatively, the Union as a whole is expected to grow at a more sedate 1.9 % to 2%, proving once again that our timing couldn't have possibly been better.The inaugural fDi Magazine's Polish City of the Future 2015/2016 ranking lists Lodz, Poland's third biggest city as having the best strategy for attracting foreign direct investment followed by Katowice, Wroclaw, Gdansk and Krakow. It is no surprise that companies like Amazon, Google and Hewlett-Packard find the lure of Poland's regional cities almost irresistible.Long overlooked by investors in favour of Warsaw, Poland's regional cities are increasingly finding favour with businesses only too happy to locate their back office functions in Europe's most vibrant economy. With many developed markets barely scraping together respectable GDP figures, developing markets like Poland offer the best opportunities for companies looking to globalise and for Redefine to provide that space.As the Polish economy goes from strength to strength, our investment in retail and commercial property in key cities from Warsaw to Wroclaw should provide real value and good returns from this high quality portfolio enjoying an average occupancy rate of 95%.It is squarely a long term investment and we view the country as a reliable high-yield investment market with holding comprising of over 450,000 sqm of lettable area. A significant upside of this acquisition is the right of first offer on over Euro 500m worth of newly developed properties from the large retail and office development pipeline of Echo.Furthermore, Redefine's 25% participation right in these developments gives it access to the exciting growth potential of a pipeline of properties via profit share if these properties are sold to third parties.Among the anticipated trends that we might witness in 2016, it is worth mentioning the high level of demand for retail and office space in regional cities that lends us that scale. It is not just Warsaw that offers value but many of the country's regional cities that are flirting with potential.The pace of investment especially in Warsaw and moreso in other regional cities particularly in office space can be attributed to international companies outsourcing parts of their business to Poland. While it might have started off as a pre-dominantly call centre hub, many international firms are now considering Poland for R&D, SCC and ICT operations.Poland's move away from managing simple outsourced tasks from its infancy days to delivering more sophisticated technology solutions has attracted the likes of Samsung, who have established the largest R&D facility outside of China. Furthermore its education system which ranks in the Top 5 in Europe has the trust of global financial giants like BNP, Citi and HSBC who are banking on Poland's highly qualified graduates.Poland is also becoming a popular destination for warehousing because of its central location which makes it an ideal gateway into Western Europe. Amazon's three distribution centres in the country, two in Wroclaw and one in Poznan roughly the size of Sandton City and the adjacent Nelson Mandela Square put together suggest that even in the age of online transactions, fulfilment still depends on brick and mortar structures.Moreover with Amazon looking to launch its own air freight services to fully control its logistics chain; it is this space that is likely to dominate investment activity.Student accommodation is another growing sector with rental yields of between 8% - 9%. One of the main reasons for this is the excellent education system on offer in Poland. A number of students from many parts of the world come to Poland's schools and universities keeping this sector abuzz with activity.While Credit Suisse in its Global Wealth Report 2015 confirms that the number of dollar millionaires in the world dropped slightly on the back of weak exchange rates, the number of millionaires in Poland is set to increase from 44,000 in 2015 to 77,000 by 2020, indicating a growing potential for luxury housing.There is more to Poland's attractiveness than is described here - for us it has been the timing. Having now planted the South African flag, we will now keenly focus on the set of opportunities that will drive shareholder value. Our strategy for Poland is what we use at home - we're not landlords, we're people.
Poland is on track to join the G-20 list of the largest economies in the world by 2022 on the back of its impressive and vertical growth. Already the largest economy in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Poland has more than doubled its GDP since 1990 from approximately USD 312 billion to over USD 716 billion in just over two decades. And if you thought this stable and booming economy was reason enough to put out the wodka, it seems Poland is in no hurry to celebrate as it continues to work hard attracting foreign investment much to the chagrin of other CEE markets. The return of big deal making is also supercharging the Polish property market which is slowly inching towards the heady highs of 2007. Poland is a good news story and there are many reasons that underpin it's emergence as an investment destination of choice in Europe, particularly the country's strategic location providing a gateway to emerging markets of CEE. Following the cooling of trade relations between Germany and Russia, it is no surprise that Poland is now Berlin's most important trade partner in Eastern Europe. In the backdrop of this exciting growth and imminent opportunities, we at Redefine Properties have chosen to significantly broaden our offshore footprint via an initial 75% investment into a 1.2 billion euro high-yielding commercial platform comprising 18 properties in the rapidly-expanding Polish market. Poland also remains the only country in the EU that emerged unscathed from the recession due to a high domestic demand. This in part can be attributed to high levels of education amongst its student populace, who in turn contribute to economic activity and spend. Unemployment, which has been one of the vexing problems of the Polish economy for many years, has dropped to under 10% from previous highs of between 20%-30% just a decade before. It wouldn't be far-fetched to attribute some of Poland's growth to entrepreneurship and hard work while most of it comes from market oriented reforms. The catchment of a younger, educated and employed population contributing to retail spend fits into our overall acquisition strategy of this portfolio. Echo owns a portfolio of office and retail space in Poland. Retailing is fundamentally a consumer oriented activity and therefore this acquisition has the size and the scale to make a significant contribution to our holdings. Poland's political and economic landscape mimics those of countries in Western Europe with yields looking much more attractive on the back of fairly lower investment. Polish retail real estate is particularly attractive as Poland has several large regional cities like Wroclaw, Poznan and Szczecin amongst others. Poland's medium-sized and smaller cities like Kielce, Kalisz, Jelenia Gora and Belchatow are also witnessing a real boom in leasable space driven by the country's continuing economic growth, declining unemployment, and highly-educated workforce. We are seeing a surge in demand in the Business Processes Outsourcing sector (BPO) in cities like Katowice, Poznan, Gdansk, Lodz and Tri-City. Poland's tech sector advantage compared to Asia comes not only from its proficiency in English language and the moderate labour costs but also the well qualified workforce leading to companies being only willing to locate their R&D centres in Poland. Poland has been on our map for quite a while and we have shown restraint in making deals in the market for a long time. We were waiting for the right assets and the right time and it's only fair to suggest - good things come to those who wait.
Redefine Properties significantly expands offshore footprint following record setting 1.2 billion euro Polish commercial property deal. Johannesburg, South Africa, 01 March 2016 - South African Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Redefine Properties is significantly broadening its offshore footprint via an initial 75% investment into a 1.2 billion euro high-yielding commercial platform comprising 18 properties in the rapidly-expanding and exciting Polish market. The deal, which will be financed via debt and equity at a proposed 60% gearing at the property level, is the largest ever real estate investment transaction in Poland. It is also the largest ever single transaction of income generating real estate assets in Central Eastern Europe. Echo Investment is a recognized market leader in the Polish and Central and Eastern Europe commercial and residential property development and investment space, having completed over 115 real estate projects in 37 cities and 4 countries. Redefine's executive Chairman Marc Wainer calls the deal "a game-changer" for Redefine. "It significantly advances our international strategy - it has the scale, the right partners and the ability for growth to take a major part of our business to the next level. The 18 properties tick all the boxes from an investment perspective and allows us to take advantage of what will be positive yield carry," he says. The return profile is attractive generating total distributable income of 46 million euro. "These are all high quality properties with average portfolio occupancy rate of 95% and a large share of modern and sizeable properties," says Wainer. Poland is the largest country and market in Central and Eastern Europe with a population of around 38m and GDP growth of about 3.5% a year. Importantly, it has a large, stable and liquid real estate market which has become increasingly attractive to foreign investors over the last few years due to its high growth potential and scalability. A significant benefit of the agreement - which is still subject to the approval of the European Commission, is further complemented by a right of first offer on over ?500m worth of newly developed properties from the large retail and office development pipeline of Echo, with more than 80% of the projects expected to be delivered within the next 2 years. Furthermore, Redefine's 25% participation right in these developments gives it access to the exciting growth potential of a pipeline of properties via profit share if these properties are sold to third parties. "This provides us with a unique path to the leading pure play Polish commercial real estate platform with significant further growth and value upside potential," says Wainer. The deal was made possible after Echo made a strategic decision to split its high yielding platform from its development and residential business and to find a buyer for the commercial real estate platform in which it will retain a 25% stake. "This deal moves the needle as economic growth is driving demand for office space in Poland and opportunities in retail are even more exciting as disposable incomes have improved in lock-step with economic growth," says Wainer. With rand weakness persisting and inflation on the rise in South Africa, Redefine believes offshore driven tail winds are anticipated to offset the domestic head winds. The low interest rate environment in certain overseas markets will be exploited by taking advantage of the positive yield spreads that are currently available. Apart from the Polish deal, the company is also in the process of establishing an investment presence in Spain and diversification into student accommodation in Australia. "Although 2016 is proving to be a tenant's market across all domestic sectors, it is not all doom and gloom for us at Redefine as our geographic diversification now really begins to work for us," concludes Wainer. About Echo Investment: Founded in 1994, Echo Investment is a recognised market leader in the Polish commercial and residential property development and investment space with a strong regional footprint. It has completed over 115 real estate projects in 37 cities and 4 countries, with a total area of more than 1 million m2 of which around 446,000m2 is retail and 291,000m2 office space. Currently its portfolio includes 138,000m2 of real estate projects under construction and 136,000m2 in preparation with additional land bank of over 200,000m2 for retail and office space in Poland. It has presence in four real estate sectors including housing, shopping, outlets and entertainment centres, office buildings and hotels. About Redefine Properties: Redefine is a diversified Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and is classified as one of the Top 40 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Redefine manages a property asset base with a market value of approximately R65 billion, comprising local and international property investments. Media Contacts: Jaclyn Lovell Communication Specialist, Redefine Telephone: 011 283 0072 Mobile: 084 618 5584 E-mail: JaclynL@redefine.co.za
Redefine Properties has appointed Antoinette Coetzee as its new Retail Asset Manager. She has held the position of retail analyst at the company for the past three years. Coetzee brings with her a firm grounding in listed equity analysis in the retail, beverage and luxury goods sectors and will now oversee the management of Redefine's vast retail portfolio. Her new responsibilities include strategic planning for the retail property portfolio with a dedicated focus on driving increased returns and exploiting opportunities to reduce risk and improve the retail portfolio. Andrew Konig, CEO of Redefine Properties, says: "For the past three years, Antoinette has been a key member of our property management team and we believe that her valuable research skills and broad retail knowledge will add value to our retail portfolio." Before joining Redefine, Coetzee (33) spent eight years as a buy-side and sell-side analyst. She holds a BCom (Hons) in Investment Management from the Rand Afrikaans University (now known as the University of Johannesburg). When not overseeing Redefine's vast retail footprint, Coetzee enjoys a good Irish whiskey, travel, yoga and photography.