Row erupts over Bonatla's strategic direction.

Posted On Wednesday, 22 January 2003 10:01 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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LISTED property fund Bonatla Property Holdings has been turned into a battlefield as a result of disagreements on the property fund's strategic direction.


Bonatla Property HoldingsThe battle is between key shareholders in Bonatla led by founding director Niki Vontas and a company called Catalyst, which was hired as asset manager to Bonatla's property portfolio.

Sources say relations between the two parties have deteriorated beyond repair. This battle has two possible outcomes. Catalyst may lose a lucrative asset management contract in Bonatla, or Vontas will lose control of the group.

Observers say the disagreements over the strategic direction of Bonatla may be a smoke screen for more protracted struggles in the listed property sector of the JSE Securities Exchange SA.

The sector is set for enormous growth, and the few players who have spotted these opportunities are fighting to establish dominant bases that would draw benefits when the sector comes of age in the future.

Bonatla's fund manager who is a Catalyst employee, Anton Botha, said 'what I know is that Bonatla is faced with a number of options with regards to strategic direction and was in the process of evaluating these options'.

He said there was no fight from the Catalyst point of view, just a normal debate over strategy.

However, the deep schism between the two parties has been visible since Vontas took a swipe at a prospective merger between Bonatla, iFour and Arnold Property Fund (A-Prop).

The deal was evidently supported by Catalyst, but was scuppered because it lacked support from key shareholders who feared losing control of the group to some other camp. The speculation of the Bonatla, iFour and A-Prop merger brought into the picture listed property sector heavyweight Redefine Income Fund, which has shown a tendency of taking out assets in vulnerable groups.

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 13:04

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