Freedom announces BEE share participation scheme

Posted On Thursday, 24 July 2014 09:11 Published by
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Freedom Property Fund today advised the market it would go ahead with the assessment and adoption of a share participation scheme, which will boost the ownership of its shares by previously disadvantaged individuals through a BEE structure.

Tyrone Govender

Tyrone Govender, CEO of Freedom, comments: "Our investment model thrives on empowering stakeholders in a meaningful way and is strongly influenced by BEE. It's a commercial imperative for Freedom."

While details of the BEE share participation scheme will be announced in due course, Govender explains it will be based on best practice models with excellent partners and will be for the long term.

"As a company that operates in South Africa we believe transformation is essential for sustainability. We are not doing this because it is required of us, we are doing it because we believe it is good business. Freedom plans to outperform when it comes to BEE in terms of the property sector charter," says Govender.

Freedom listed on the JSE Main Board on 12 June 2014, introducing a unique property capital growth opportunity for investors, coming from the fund's diverse and growing portfolio, which includes residential, commercial and industrial property assets of R1,56 billion.

Its assets comprise income-yielding properties and developments complemented by a secured pipeline of around R3 billion of commercial property developments and R7 billion residential rental and sale property developments, as well as a long-term development pipeline in decentralised areas throughout South Africa.

Heightened BEE credentials will support Freedom's business strategies, as well as ensure its competitiveness in both the residential and commercial property space.

In the residential rental market, Freedom's developments will be better poised to attract mines as tenants for worker accommodation. In the commercial property market, Freedom will increase its standing as a landlord of choice for the transformation benefits it offers its tenants.

"We believe enhanced BEE credentials are relevant for our business. It supports Freedom strategies to deliver sustainable value and growth prospects for all our shareholders. This transaction will assist Freedom to attract capital at competitive rates," says Govender. "It will also elevate Freedom's reputation as an employer and help us attract and keep good people."

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