Spearhead grows portfolio by 30%

Posted On Wednesday, 24 November 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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It is beginning to be evident to those who track the fortunes of Cape property companies that Spearhead, although still a long way off being in the big league of property owners is very definitely "thinking big" – and is growing its portfolio faster than any other Cape property holding/development company.

Mike FlaxIt is also still showing the best five year combined return, at over 400% on the current share price of R17.

These off-the-cuff comments were made recently by Mike Flax, Chief Executive Officer of Spearhead Property Holdings, in announcing the company’s latest acquisitions. Together with those already announced this year, these have grown Spearhead’s portfolio by 30%.

After its R50 million plus purchase of Knowledge Park at Century City in June this year and the recently announced purchases of three office and retail buildings in Tyger Valley for a price of R55 million, Spearhead has focussed on the Epping area – and on industrial property which, Flax believes, will be the next sector to boom, following the almost unprecedented success of the residential sector in recent years.

Spearhead has bought from Wellpick Properties for a price of R14 million the Coricraft factory and distribution centre on Christen Avenue, Epping, for a price of R12 million. Coricraft, says Flax, is a leading manufacturer of domestic furniture and supplies both local and international markets.

A vacant site of two hectares in Airport Industria was also purchased and will be incorporated into Spearhead’s Golf Air Park, a new R60 million development on an 8ha site in Airport Industria. The site currently has 15 000m2 of office and warehouse space on it.

Here Spearhead is now awaiting plans from architects Dennis Fabian Berman for an enlarged state-of-the-art lifestyle industrial park which, with buildings up to three storeys high, will offer occupants views across the immaculate fairways of the King David Golf Course to Table Mountain on the west and the Hottentots Holland range to the east.

This development, Flax predicts, will set a new benchmark for mixed use projects, its attractions including piazzas which will "humanise" the precinct and give those who work there pleasant, leafy spaces for outdoor midday and tea breaks.

Access will be possible from both the Bahrain Road and Modderdam Road – another big plus factor. Tenants already signed up include Sun Couriers, Golden Arrow and CWC Express. The full development is likely to come on stream by February 2005.

The Coricraft acquisition is just around the corner from the 15 000m2 Nampak building off Bofors Circle in Epping. Spearhead has bought this complex from iFour for R17,25 million on a yield of close to 12%.

Spearhead has also signed to acquire the Viking Business Park on the busy Viking Road, Epping. For this they will pay R29 million to Picardi Holdings.

The park has retail, industrial and office space and Flax regards it as the premier development in Epping. It is, he says, next to the well-maintained post office distribution centre and within a few minutes’ drive of the new casino. Its retail component serves both the large number of commuters who bypass this area daily and the Ruyterwacht and Thornton residential areas. Current tenants include Nedbank, ABSA, Standard Bank, Sony, Reeds Delta and such innovative leisure industry servers as the well-known G-Spot bar and night club and Lady Bee diner.

In the Wynberg area, another which Flax believes has huge growth potential, Spearhead is now the owner of the 11 000m2 retail, office and parking complex, Maynard Plaza. For this a price of R10 million was paid and Spearhead followed up this purchase by laying out R7 million for the Edgars complex on Main Road, thereby making them the owners of virtually the entire block. Edgars has recently signed a lease which will extend their tenure to 2010.

Within the next 36 months, said Flax, Spearhead will lay out some R600 million in new property developments. This, he said, is necessary because, after identifying the trends in the market, it has become apparent to the Spearhead’s management that they are not always able to satisfy current needs simply through acquisitions.

The money spent will be used to fund the "new age" Sable Square outlet mall centre opposite Century City which will incorporate a "lock and leave" storage facility into its site.

In addition, Knowledge Park will be extended with a further 10 000m2 and a new office complex with 14 000m2 will be erected at the Foreshore at an approximate cost of R150 million. Details of this are due to be released within the next three weeks.

Asked if he believes that Spearhead’s share will continue to grow in value annually, Flax said simply, "Yes".

"Those who bought when we listed will have by now totally paid for their original investment and will, in addition, have seen the value of their asset increase threefold," he said. "We are giving a current return of over 11% on our share price – this compares very favourably with the 6% or less that is now being given by most UK property companies."

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 09:28

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