Commercial News

New R3,1 billion Atterbury Property Fund launched

Atterbury Group announced today it has launched Atterbury Property Fund, a new real estate growth fund that will become the investment vehicle for the existing and future Atterbury assets in South Africa, Namibia and Mauritius.

Louis van der Watt, CEO of Atterbury Group, says: “Atterbury Property Fund will take Atterbury confidently into the future. We are excited to take the next step in our journey.”

As a leading South African property developer and investor with a successful 22-year track record, Atterbury is perhaps best known as the developer and co-owner of the new Mall of Africa in Waterfall, Midrand. What is more, with van der Watt at its helm, Atterbury has earned an enviable reputation for creating and growing property funds. Most recently, JSE-listed real estate capital growth fund Attacq was spun out of the Atterbury stable. Before that, it formed Attfund, which was sold to Hyprop in 2011. Atterbury Property Fund is Atterbury’s next chapter.

Atterbury Property Holdings, in which Rand Merchant Bank Holdings (RMH) recently announced it is in the process of acquiring a 25.01% stake, will own 80% of the shares in Atterbury Property Fund. Atterbury’s employees will hold the remaining 20% stake, aligning the interests of the company and its staff.

Starting as a closed unlisted fund, Atterbury Property Fund will launch with assets valued at R3,1 billion.

It has secured a large immediate development pipeline that includes R2 billion worth of top-structure developments over the next three years. All these developments, which will transfer to Atterbury Property Fund on completion, are distinguished by the quality design and function that the market has come to know and trust from Atterbury.

“The aim is to grow it towards a market-related liquidity event that will give the market access to participate,” says Atterbury Property Fund CEO, Wouter de Vos.

As CEO, de Vos brings over 21 years of experience and an impressive investment acumen to the fund, including 18 years at Investec Private Bank, where he headed up the Northern Region and served on the national executive team.  He specialised in private client investment banking including structured property finance as well as growth and acquisition finance. He was also director and co-owner of boutique investment firm Talana Capital.

It is anticipated that Atterbury Property Fund’s initial property assets will include, among others: a 10% stake in the newly opened 130,000sqm Mall of Africa in Waterfall, Midrand; 15% of the 46,200sqm Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius; 25% of Namibia’s first regional mall; the 52,089sqm The Grove Mall of Namibia in Windhoek; Club mixed-use office and retail precinct opposite the Pretoria Country Club; the 16,250sqm Riverwalk Office Park in Pretoria which includes Deloitte’s head office; and KPMG’s 4,300sqm Hillside offices in Lynnwood, Pretoria.

De Vos explains: “Atterbury Property Fund will acquire the pipeline assets from Atterbury on favourable terms in exchange for financial assistance during the development phase. This will result in superior financial returns for its shareholders.”

He adds: “By consolidating Atterbury’s assets into Atterbury Property Fund, we will also benefit from more favourable funding terms, as well as potentially accessing debt capital markets.”

The fund’s long-term approach will mean that shareholders won’t receive distributions for the first few years. “Atterbury Property Fund is investing for the long term,” says de Vos.  “We’re focused to take advantage of property investment opportunities where we can create and add value with Atterbury’s leading-edge property development and asset management expertise. We will leverage of the existing and well-established Atterbury networks as well as proven brand.”

In addition to ventures with existing Atterbury partners, Atterbury Property Fund is eager to create new investment partnerships, including investing in JSE-listed property counters.

“We will be highly selective and target our investment into companies where we can add value through our development, deal making, investment and asset management abilities, and exert strategic influence at management and board level,” notes de Vos.

A truly South African company, Atterbury was founded in 1994 at the same time as democracy was born in South Africa. Over more than 22 years, it has established a long track record of social and economic transformation, and this new South African based fund will continue this proud tradition.