September 8 2023
Resilient Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) which was formed 21 years ago is set for change as its founder and CEO Des de Beer steps down. The property magnate who started life as a banker, has made billions of Rand for his investors and himself.
The group listed at R500m in 2022 and its market capitalisation reached R150bn at the height of SA’s listed property boom in 2017. Resilient managed to get strong returns from shopping centres which dominated their catchment areas. These were often in semi-urban areas or small towns. The group has also achieved strong returns from its investments in eastern Europe through the likes of Nepi Rockcastle.
But De Beer was embroiled in a scandal which saw Resilient and other property companies related to it being Fortress, Nepi Rockcastle and Greenbay lose billions of rand of value. There were allegations that the directors of these companies were using related party deals to prop up their profits and dividends. Eventually the Financial Sector Conduct Authority said it was unable to find Resilient or itsd partners guilty of any wrongdoing.
Johann Kriek is the CEO designate. He has experience with retail and it will be interesting to see if he has the dealmaking ability which the listed sector seems to lack currently. Perhaps he will take some risks.
Don’t expect de Beer to step away completely. He will have some strategy ideas for Resilient while he remains on the group’s board. Also, not the company sold nearly R1bn worth of shares in UK mall group Hammerson plc. De Beer has wanted to buy-out Hammerson but it seems the UK group has not been in favour of ceding control to a South African.