CIREF on a R212 Million acquisition trail

Posted On Monday, 11 September 2006 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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CIREF Limited - Corovest International’s property fund – which listed on the London Stock Exchange’s aim market earlier this year, recently acquired three property interests totalling R212 million. The acquisitions will boost the portfolio value to R1,4 billion.

Mike Watters2

Enhancing its retail component the fund, as the majority partner of a consortium, bought a stake in ‘The Centre’ in the UK seaside town of Margate for R179,6 million (£13,1 million).  An initial yield of 5,9% is expected on the 6000m² property, one of the town’s largest shopping complexes. Household name tenants on long-term leases include Lloyds TSB, Carphone Warehouse, Boots and Thomas Cook.

Corovest International CEO Mike Watters says that the Margate acquisition is in terms of the group’s strategy of growing the retail portfolio with assets offering sustainable growth prospects under CIREF’s direction. “There is significant opportunity to drive rental yields in Margate and enhance capital values through active asset management.” The acquisition further underpins CIREF’s expertise in retail and mixed-use developments in town and city centres in the UK. The fund is currently involved in the development of mixed-use schemes in Blackpool, Crewe and Newport.

CIREF has also bought a 3 716 m² vacant property in Ashtead, a stockbroker commuter-belt town in Surrey in south London, for R27,5 million (£2,01million). “We are submitting a planning application to develop 14 residential apartments and a number of retail units,” says Watters, adding that CIREF is in discussions with two of the UK’s leading supermarket groups to anchor the centre.

Further diversifying the international portfolio the fund acquired a minority interest in a
4 654m² office development in Tortola, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, for
R5,8 million (US$0,8 million).  CIREF chairman Gavin Tipper says that “the investment offers a strong yield as well as diversification in CIREF’s growing portfolio of international assets.” The development is situated on prime property on the waterfront and is expected to be fully let to blue-chip tenants before development begins.

SA investors make up around 60% of CIREF’s shareholding with 18% held by JSE-listed property loan stock Redefine Income Fund. Tipper says that the fund offers SA investors an Excon-compliant offshore investment opportunity on the fastest growing junior market in the world. SA investors who bought into the fund at R16.80 on listing in May, have reaped a 15% capital appreciation that has taken the trading price to R19.31.  The company’s market capitalisation now stands at R686 million.  CIREF’s maiden dividend as a listed company is expected to be paid in November 2006 following year-end on 30 September. 

Watters concludes: “The recent acquisitions will further diversify and enhance our portfolio to ensure that we continue maximising returns to investors.”  CIREF is currently pursuing further identified acquisitions, to be announced in due course.

Last modified on Monday, 05 May 2014 12:31

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