Press Office

HYPROP TO BUY ATTFUND RETAIL ASSETS FOR UP TO R9 BILLION

06 December 2010

Leading JSE retail property fund, Hyprop, today announced the acquisition of its unlisted counterpart Attfund Retail for up to R9 billion. The merger of South Africa’s leading listed and private retail property portfolios is set to create the premier retail fund in the country. Almost doubling Hyprop’s asset base to around R20 billion, the acquisition will add Clearwater Mall, Woodlands Boulevard, Cape Gate Retail Precinct and Centurion Mall (25% undivided share) to Hyprop’s premium shopping centres. Importantly the move will enable Hyprop to retain its dedicated focus on retail with a quality asset base. Hyprop’s market capitalisation will leap to approximately R15 billion on conclusion of the acquisition.

The purchase consideration of a maximum R9 billion, less the value of Attfund Retail’s debt, will be settled by a combination of 112 million Hyprop combined units at R54 each totalling just over R6 billion and cash. In addition to the four leading malls, Hyprop will also acquire Atterbury Value Mart, Somerset Value Mart, Willow Bridge Lifestyle Centre and a 20% indirect share in Garden Route Mall. Smaller assets in the deal include three office parks as well as 8,9 million Sycom units and 2,6 million Acucap units. As part of the transaction Attfund Retail’s asset and property management team will join Hyprop.

Hyprop Chairman Michael Aitken says the acquisition is a unique opportunity in the current environment. “The transaction will secure Hyprop’s position as the unrivalled leading retail fund in South Africa not only in terms of scale, but in terms of strength of assets. In addition the forging together of two solid management teams with significant retail experience and a sustained record of delivery will further augment Hyprop’s positioning.”

CE Mike Rodel explains that Attfund Retail’s assets complement Hyprop’s existing portfolio of shopping centres “to create a fund more significant than the sum of its already successful parts”. He adds: “The acquisition is critical to initiate the next stage of Hyprop’s growth while still maintaining a consistent level of quality in the asset base.” An added benefit of the transaction for the fund and its stakeholders is the future injection of increased liquidity into Hyprop’s stock.

Two of Attfund’s directors - CE Louis Norval and non-executive Louis van der Watt - will join Hyprop’s board as non-executives on conclusion of the acquisition. The transaction remains subject to certain conditions including conclusion of formal agreements and unitholder and regulatory approval. Hyprop will trade under cautionary pending finalisation.

Hyprop’s current portfolio of prime regional and super regional shopping centres includes Canal Walk in the Western Cape; The Glen, Hyde Park, The Mall of Rosebank and Stoneridge Shopping Centre in Gauteng; and Southcoast Mall in KwaZulu-Natal.