Photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi
PRETORIA - Greenbay Properties, which has a primary listing on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius and a secondary listing on the JSE’s AltX, is evaluating direct infrastructure opportunities in Europe following its unsuccessful R1.6billion bid to acquire listed Group Five’s concessions stakes in toll roads in Europe.

Greenbay chief executive Stephen Delport said this week that the company had identified a substantial direct property acquisition. He confirmed that discussions with the relevant parties were in progress.

During the year to September, Greenbay raised 507.8million by issuing 4.2billion shares in three oversubscribed placements and its loan-to-value ratio was 10.1percent at year-end, which was significantly lower than the board’s limit of 45percent.

Last month the company made a firm cash offer to acquire the European concession stakes, Bulgarian assets and Intertoll Europe operations as well as maintenance contracts of Group Five for R1.6bn.

Delport said its rationale for the offer included that it was positioned to offer the target assets substantial additional capital and management support to enable them to serve as a platform to access attractive growth opportunities.

He said Group Five’s board was unreceptive to the offer.

Greenbay gave Group Five five days in which to consider the offer and was not prepared to extend the time period or meet Group Five to discuss the offer. Greenbay’s strategy is to invest in direct property and infrastructure assets plus in listed real estate and infrastructure securities.

In May the company acquired the 50percent indirect interests in Forum Coimbra, a dominant regional mall in the Centro region of Portugal, and Forum Viseu, a shopping centre in Visu in Portugual, for 109.6m.

Expansion

Delport said Greenbay and joint venture partner Resilient were exploring expansion opportunities at Forum Coimbra to extend the mall, right-size the international fashion retailers and improve the entertainment offering.

He said the reconfiguration of Planet Koper in Slovenia to accommodate new international brands was under way and Greenbay was awaiting planning approval for the mixed-use Tivoli development in Ljubljana.

Greenbay’s sectoral profile at year-end comprised 49.1percent listed infrastructure, 32.7percent listed real estate and 18.2percent direct property. The geographical profile of these assets was US 42.7percent, Europe 37.3percent, Canada 9.9percent, Australia 7percent, Singapore 1.2percent, Hong Kong 1percent and UK 0.9percent.

Greenbay declared a dividend of 0.4616 euro cents in the year to September.

It is forecasting dividend growth of 25percent a year for its 2018 and 2019 financial years and at least 20percent for its 2020 financial year.

- BUSINESS REPORT