Roy Cokayne

Pivotal, the property fund established in 2005 by Abland and its partners as a property holding vehicle to invest in developments and rental-producing properties, is considering listing on the JSE.

The fund currently has an over-the-counter trading platform through PSG Konsult.

Jackie van Niekerk, the fund’s managing director, confirmed this week that Pivotal had begun engaging with its advisers about a possible listing on the JSE main board as a development fund.

“The benefits of listing in the present market, with our strong development pipeline and Abland as a leading developer of top-quality property developments, appear appealing at this early stage.

“This could result in accelerating Pivotal’s listing, which will assist in unlocking large-scale future development pipeline,” she said.

Pivotal reported this week that the fund had achieved 45 percent growth in net asset value a share to R14.69 in the year to February to continue its consistent track record of growth. The fund said it had delivered compounded net asset value growth of 24 percent annually since 2009.

Pivotal currently distributes 25 percent of its distributable income annually, based on a share option scheme, with the balance reinvested in value-enhancing property upgrades, acquisitions and new developments. Its portfolio comprises 33 properties valued at R4.9 billion, with office property accounting for 66 percent of the portfolio by size and retail space making up the rest.

The vacancy rate in its office portfolio was at 2 percent at financial year-end while vacancies in retail space were at 3.5 percent for properties under 20 000m2 and at 3 percent in its larger retail sites.

Pivotal has borrowings of R1.5bn, with gearing at 52 percent.

The completion of two major developments and two strategic acquisitions contributed significantly to Pivotal’s positive returns during the year.

The 18 790m2 first phase of Alice Lane, the fund’s flagship office building investment in Sandton, was completed in September last year and the 8 600m2 offices for Bowman Gilfillan in Bree Street in Cape Town also came on stream during the year. The second and third phases of Alice Lane are currently under construction, with the 16 000m2 second phase expected to be completed in November.

Pivotal owns 30 percent of the R538 million Alice Lane property and 37.5 percent of the Bowman Gilfillan property. During the year Pivotal acquired 40 percent of the Cradlestone Mall in Ruimsig and 17 percent of the Goldfields Mall in Welkom.