Insurance company Liberty has unveiled plans to beef-up its R30-billion property portfolio by building retail malls in African countries.
The company also announced today that it planned to list a portion of its premium property portfolio on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as a Real Estate Investment Trust to be dubbed Liberty Two Degrees before this year ends.
The company said the listing would enable it to continue to invest and grow the portfolio.
Liberty chief executive Thabo Dloti said the company aimed to raise up to R10-billion in new capital at listing.
“Liberty will also offer existing policyholders an exclusive opportunity to switch up to R3-billion of their current direct property holding into a new property portfolio that will invest in the listed entity.
“The REIT will have the ability to borrow and raise equity to create further growth opportunities and enhance returns for its shareholders.”
Dloti said Liberty Two Degrees would be‚ managed by the same team within Stanlib that has managed the Liberty Property Portfolio for many years under the leadership of Amelia Beattie as the chief executive.
He said the aim was to create a further diversification of opportunities for growth to ensure it continues to deliver superior returns.
Beattie said the opportunities would be retail-centric. “We understand retail and we have been involved in developing a number of retail assets in the last number of years and we will be looking at those‚” she said.
“We are not saying we will exclude good quality blue chip offices. We will be looking at retail that is iconic that can mimic the same return profile of stable and sustainable rental income stream and blue chip companies offer opportunities we know are available and we have been working on in the continent‚” said Beattie. — TMG Digital/Sowetan