CAPE TOWN - ATTACQ, the JSE-listed real estate investment trust and owner of the Waterfall precinct in Gauteng, had completed two disposal transactions for R576.6 million in total, the proceeds of which would be used to reduce debt, the group said in a statement yesterday.
The sale of 41.66 million shares in MAS Real Estate (MAS) for R500m to a company owned by the Mary Oppenheimer family interests would reduce Attacq’s shareholding in MAS to around 14.8 percent.
In December, the company also closed the deal to sell the office property it owned on 2 Eglin Road, Sunninghill, for R76.6m.
Attacq chief financial officer Raj Nana said these transactions were in line with their debt reduction plan with the aim of strengthening the balance sheet and creating a sustainable capital structure.
MAS is a property investor and developer, with its strategy mainly on retail and residential properties in Central and Eastern Europe.
“Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have increased our focus on capital management and liquidity to improve our debt capacity. This is a significant step for Attacq in delivering on that strategy,” said Nana.
“Part of the proceeds will be used to reduce our Euro debt exposure which will mitigate our foreign exchange risk,” he said.
In December 2020, Attacq announced a disposal programme of R2bn of assets, a target that excluded any part of its investment in MAS.
Attacq’s chief investment officer, Peter de Villiers, said they supported MAS’s strategy. However, the partial disposal provided Attacq with a good opportunity to improve liquidity and create a more sustainable capital structure for the long-term to navigate this challenging period.
Last week Attacq said its current chief operating officer, Jacqueline van Niekerk, had been appointed chief executive, with effect from May 1. This followed an announcement in November that Melt Hamman had given notice to resign as chief executive from April 30.