Press Office

HYPROP ACTIONS BEE INTERNALLY AND WITH VUNANI PROPERTIES

29 November 2006

Hyprop Investments and black-owned Vunani Properties have together boosted the portfolio of Vunani Property Investment Fund (VPIF) - their BEE partnership project – with the acquisition of a R67 million portfolio of properties from Standard Bank. In a continuing effort to improve black representation at board level in the company, Hyprop has at the same time appointed former Independent Electoral Commission official Khosi Sibisi as a non-executive director to further guide transformation.

The property acquisition will bring the value of VPIF’s total portfolio to R422 million from R377 million at launch in May 2006. At the time of launch Hyprop had sold VPIF five non-core commercial buildings for R174,5 million with other properties sold to the fund by Vunani. VPIF recently acquired two commercial buildings in Pretoria valued a R46 million as part of Vunani Properties’ initial contribution.

The VPIF portfolio has to date comprised mainly commercial properties with government tenants in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. The Standard Bank portfolio of properties, anchored mainly by Standard Bank branches, is situated in Johannesburg and smaller surrounding towns. “This furthers VPIF’s strategy of adding quality tenants while diversifying its portfolio across a national spread,” says Hyprop CEO Pieter Prinsloo.

Transfer of the majority of the properties is expected in the next month. The asset management of the properties will be undertaken by Vunani Properties together with Madison Property Fund Managers. “Hyprop is committed to supporting VPIF with asset management skills transfer, as per the terms of the fund’s founding agreement,” Prinsloo says. Strongly empowered JHI has been appointed property manager.

On completion of the acquisitions Hyprop will hold 49.8% of VPIF and Vunani Properties 50.2%.

As it stands the VPIF initiative does not detract from Hyprop’s core focus on premium shopping centre assets and takes the form of a sound commercial initiative to contribute to enterprise development in line with the Property Transformation Charter. “The property industry has a severe shortage of professional investment and asset management skills making enterprise and skills development an imperative in the industry,” comments Prinsloo.

He is confident that Hyprop’s new director will be instrumental in guiding the fund as it considers other empowerment initiatives in line with its commitment to support the Property Charter. “Khosi served on the Independent Electoral Commission for the 1994 elections and has headed preferential procurement at Telkom and at Harmony Gold, where she was also responsible for government relations. We believe her expertise will enable Hyprop to enhance its BEE credentials, practices and projects.”

Other changes to Hyprop’s board saw financial director of Hyprop Management Company, Laurence Cohen, step up to the main Hyprop board as an executive director, while non-executive Sarah Webb resigned.

Hyprop’s units closed yesterday at R36,60.