RMB Holdings (RMH), after unbundling its investment in FirstRand last year, has received a R1.75 billion approach from Cyprus-based Brightbridge Real Estate to acquire its property investments held through RMH Property. Photo: Twitter
RMB Holdings (RMH), after unbundling its investment in FirstRand last year, has received a R1.75 billion approach from Cyprus-based Brightbridge Real Estate to acquire its property investments held through RMH Property. Photo: Twitter

Brightbridge seeks to acquire RMH’s major property investments

By Edward West Time of article published Oct 12, 2021

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RMB HOLDINGS (RMH), after unbundling its investment in FirstRand last year, has received a R1.75 billion approach from Cyprus-based Brightbridge Real Estate to acquire its property investments held through RMH Property.

The approach does not include RMH’s interests in the Integer Properties portfolio.

RMH said in a statement yesterday that the “formal approach” was still subject to various terms and conditions and did not constitute a firm intention to make an offer.

RMH share price fell 5.99 percent to close at R1.57 on the JSE following the announcement. The share price was higher than the R1.08 it traded at a year ago, but well below the more than R70 that the share traded at three years ago, when it was still invested in FirstRand, the holding company of FNB.

The share price is also well below the R3.27 net asset value per share on December 31, 2020. RMH’s market capitalisation yesterday was about R2.36 billion. RMH’s strategy, post the FirstRand unbundling, was to monetise the RMH Property portfolio, and return maximum value to RMH shareholders.

“The board is considering the formal approach and RMH will revert to Brightbridge and update shareholders in due course,” the statement said.

RMH Property typically acquires significant equity interests in unlisted property development companies, with attractive net asset value growth return profiles.

Its investment strategy is to partner with leading development partners and enhance the value of portfolio companies over time, to create shareholder value.

RMH Property holds 27.5 percent of Atterbury Group, which invests and develops office, retail and industrial properties in South Africa, 37.5 percent of Netherlands managed Atterbury Europe, which invests in office and retail property assets, and 10.9 percent of Divercity, which operates in urban renewal in South Africa.

The Atterbury Group was founded in 1994 in South Africa by Louis van der Watt and Francois van Niekerk, with a focus on developing retail centres and commercial buildings.

It has developed commercial, retail and residential property across South Africa and the rest of Africa and Europe.

The European expansion started in 2014 when Atterbury co-invested with a consortium of private equity investors in forming Atterbury Europe, which holds shares in real estate companies with properties worth more than €1bn (about R17.2bn) spread over three countries and is expanding in Serbia and Romania.

Brightbridge Real Estate is a holding company of Atterbury Europe.

The Divercity Property Fund’s portfolio has a total value of nearly R3.4bn comprising some 6 500 apartments and 90 000m² of commercial and retail lettable area in South Africa.

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