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GIPF rules out Grove Mall acquisition

August 10, 2022

The Government Institution Pension Fund (GIPF) says it has no appetite to acquire the Grove Mall of Namibia, where it once held a 33% stake.

This comes amid indications that Atterbury Property Holdings, owned by the JSE-listed Atterbury Group, is in talks to sell the iconic mall to Zimbabwean investors, mainly pension funds, keen to invest in the regional market to increase value for their stakeholders.

Reports from Zimbabwe show that Stratus Capital Partners and Bard Santner Markets are reported to be brokering a N$1.8 billion deal to acquire the property.

GIPF Chief Executive Officer David Nuyoma told The Brief that the Fund has not decided nor expressed interest in acquiring the mall, although he could not rule out the possibility if the need arises.

"Whether we can still go back and invest, we have not made that call, nor have any of our asset managers expressed interest. It is up to them because they have the discretion to invest in good assets. So, they run our funds and have a better insight and understanding where there is value for money," Nuyoma said.

The GIPF sold its stake in the Grove around 2017/18 for slightly above N$300 million from an initial investment, according to Nuyoma, of close to N$100 million.

"We exited the Grove mall when we sold our shares. There were circumstances that led us to selling. However, the good thing is we recovered the funds invested, having received three times more," he said

Nuyoma could not shed more light on why the fund had sold its stake.

"It was not really a call of GIPF itself to exit. Like I said we operate through fund managers. At the time, the fund manager who was in charge was put into such a position that deemed it necessary to sell. With investment in pension funds, we operate through specialist fund managers, and they are by regulation have the discretion, for as long as such is done in the best interest of the fund,” he said.

The GIPF recently revealed interest to bolster its 28% stake in the country’s biggest mobile operator, Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) which it acquired for N$874 million during the initial public offering, if the opportunity arises, also supported by a recommendation from its asset managers.

GIPF, a statutory pension fund which provides guaranteed pension and related benefits to over 101 027 civil servants, and employees of participating employers in Namibia, is the country’s largest pension fund with assets worth over N$135 billion according to its latest Actuarial Valuation Report.

Built by Howard and Chamberlain Architects through investment from Atterbury Property, Attacq Ltd, The Frontier Property Trust and Demushuwa Property Developer (Pty) Ltd, the Grove is located in the Hilltop mixed-use estate in Kleine Kuppe and is largest shopping centre ever to be developed in Namibia, measuring 52 000 square metres, at a cost of N$1 billion and opened its doors in 2014 under the management of South Africa borne company, Atterbury Property Holdings.

 

 

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Last modified on Saturday, 13 August 2022 17:03