Property Flash


July 12 2023

RMB Holdings (RMH) and developer, Atterbury’s relationship appears to be in tatters as the two remain in a dispute over a R487m loan. While RMH’s CEO Brian Roberts on Tuesday said in a live call with shareholders that the two parties would eventually solve their quarrel and that Atterbury was still an important investment for RMH, his comments to the rest of the executive just before the meeting beg to differ.

While RMH had set up a special shareholder online call to update the market about the dispute for 10am, the call went live early. Property Flash was sent the video today, July 12 2023. The video shows a rather embarrassing exchange between Roberts and acting chief financial officer, Ellen Marais.

They suggested that Atterbury may be insolvent and also looked like whinybamateurs going on about the loan dispute they have. How these RMH executives retain their positions when they have been so unprofessional astounds me.

There genuinely seems to be no solution in sight to the disagreement between the two companies. RMH had been a large investment holding company with interests in FirstRand, Rand Merchant Bank, Discovery, OUTsurance, Divercity and Atterbury. Atterbury helped develop Mall of Africa among other projects.

RMH says Atterbury owes it R487m for a loan.

The loan was repayable to RMH this week, but Atterbury already said months ago that the loan agreement makes provision for the loan to be settled by issuing more shares to RMH, rather than settling the debt in cash.

RMH guaranteed the loan and said it honoured its guarantee to the bank and settled the debt.

But Louis van der Watt, founder and CEO of Atterbury said that Atterbury chose to settle the loan in shares rather than cash. 

“Atterbury remains a long-term property development company and will continue to operate as such,” he said.

RMH owns 27.5% of Atterbury, making up more than 60% of its assets. By taking shares in place of cash will increase RMH’s stake in Atterbury to 43%.

Roberts and Marais sit on Atterbury’s board.

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