File picture: James White
File picture: James White

Fairvest Property Holdings calls of merger

By EDWARD WEST Time of article published Aug 14, 2019

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CAPE TOWN -  Fairvest Property Holdings has opted not to pursue a merger bid with Safari Investments RSA, after Safari shareholders declined Fairvest’s offer.

Fairvest’s share-swop merger proposal for Safari in March had been followed by a competing R1.8 billion cash offer for Safari, from unlisted Community Property Company (Comprop) in July.

“We believe that increasing our bid to match an offer that equates to a less than an 8 percent equity yield for the Safari assets would not have been beneficial to Fairvest shareholders,” Fairvest CEO Darren Wilder said in a statement on Wednesday.

In terms of the Fairvest Safari merger plan, Safari would have acquired Fairvest through a scheme of arrangement with shareholders receiving 0.45 Safari shares for each Fairvest share.

Wilder said their due dilligence had convinced then that a merger would have created a specialised, lower LSM retail-only focused fund with R6 billion worth of assets, a proposition that had been in line with fund managers’ strategies for property funds to consolidate, specialise and create liquidity. 

“We expected that, provided we delivered performance, the merged entity would have been re-rated with additional support from its inclusion in the SA REIT and ALPI indices, ultimately driving long-term value,” he said.

Safari said in a statement on Wednesday that shareholders holding 55.7 percent of Safari shares had voted against the Fairvest merger plan, and intended to instead support Comprop’s bid.

Safari’s independent board constituted to engage with the merger proposals, was now in a position to properly engage with the Comprop bid, the statement said. 

Wilder said: “We are known in the marketplace to be disciplined buyers with a well-defined valuation framework that sets key financial hurdles for transactions. It is critical we maintain our discipline to only pursue transactions that ensure value creation for our shareholders over the long term..

 Fairvest would continue to pursue acquisitions at the right price, he added.


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