File picture: James White

CAPE TOWN – Community Property Holdings’ (Comprop) bid to acquire listed shopping centre owner and peer Safari Investments appears to have become hostile.

Comprop had launched an “unwarranted attack” on Safari, Safari Independent Board Chairman Allan Wentzel said Thursday.

This was also in spite of the fact that repeated attempts by Safari to engage with Comprop to address legal and commercial concerns of the bid, were not responded to, Wentzel said.

Comprop has made a cash offer to buy all of Safari’s shares at R5.90 each, this after an initial share-for-share merger attempt between property group Fairvest and Safari, at R4.15 per share, was called off last month.

On Tuesday, Comprop, in an update, accused the Safari board of having a negative view the offer, and of denying Safari shareholders the opportunity to vote on the offer, by failing to make a formal annoucement of the Comprop offer.

In a strongly worded reponse to Comprop’s board, Wentzel said today: 

“While your letter is addressed to the independent board, it is clear...it’s real intention was not to invite meaningful discussion and engagement, but rather to serve as a platform for an unwarranted attack...to further your commercial position and aspirations,” Wentzel wrote.

“This action to avoid meaningful engagement and to foster public discord is an unfortunate development, given that Safari's independent board has consistently sought to approach Comprop's unsolicited offer in a measured and professional way.” 

“We will endeavour to continue to do so, notwithstanding the regrettable recent steps taken by Comprop,” Wentzel wrote.

BUSINESS REPORT