Martprop confident of merger

Posted On Thursday, 11 May 2006 02:00 Published by
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Industrial-focused listed property unit trust Martprop is confident it will be able to use its new relationship with Old Mutual to boost its industrial property portfolio
Industrial-focused listed property unit trust Martprop, which is managed by Durban-based Marriott, is confident it will be able to use its new relationship with Old Mutual to boost its industrial property portfolio.

Old Mutual Properties, which is in the process of taking over the property-asset management business of Marriott, owns significant parcels of vacant land in strategic areas in Durban.

Martprop MD Roger Perkin says that due to the imminent merger, Martprop stands to gain opportunities to possibly acquire industrial property developments on some of this land.

The merged entity will be known as the Old Mutual Property Group.

Martprop's property portfolio consists of about 70% industrial properties, with retail making up 20% and offices 10%.

Perkin says the industrial property market is booming in Durban, creating opportunities.

"There is a shortage of undeveloped land for industrial development and Old Mutual owns significant parcels of vacant land in strategic areas such as Mahogany Ridge, Pinetown and Mount Edgecombe," he says.

"From an Old Mutual perspective, now that it can control and manage Martprop, it will be looking to exploit these opportunities both for their own account and for Martprop."

Perkin says that Martprop has strong relationships with tenants who have expansion needs and that this presents the company an opportunity to develop property on Martprop's account in partnership with Old Mutual.

At the moment there is no vacant space in Martprop's industrial property portfolio.

"One of the major focuses of the Old Mutual Property Group is to grow assets under management not only for Old Mutual's directly held property portfolio but also for the listed (property) funds it manages," he says.

"In some instances a particular investment might not suit the Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of SA could but meet the investment criteria for Martprop," Perkin says.

Business Day
Publisher: I-Net Bridge
Source: I-Net Bridge

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