Property Flash


April 18 2024 22:20

Vukile Property Fund (JSE: VKE), the specialist retail real estate investment trust (Reit) secured R1.1bn of funding through an innovative green loan and sustainability-linked loan with Absa. The loans are part of the refinancing process of existing debt and will be specifically directed to Vukile’s solar PV project and linked to its sustainability targets. The goals include reducing carbon emissions, boosting water savings and educating property professionals, initiatives that benefit the environment and society and align with Vukile’s wider environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments, the group said.

Laurence Rapp, CEO of Vukile Property Fund, said: “This sustainability-linked loan is a first for Vukile and represents a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to sustainability.”

Absa played a role as lender and sole sustainability coordinator, ensuring alignment with the Loan Market Associations’ Green Loan and Sustainability Linked Loan Principles. 

Laurence Rapp, CEO of Vukile Property Fund

Heidi Barends, Head of Sustainable Finance for Absa, said: “We partnered with Vukile to ensure market leading performance indicators are set for this funding solution, that are relevant to their sector and aligns to their business strategy.  By combining environmental and social objectives, we’ve set a new standard for sustainable investment. Vukile is clearly committed to sustainability and we’re proud to have advised it on this strategic transaction. Our guidance throughout underscores our commitment to driving meaningful change in the financial landscape.”

Maurice Shapiro, Group Head of Treasury of Vukile, said, “As our partners and a key stakeholder, Absa played an important role in delivering a fit-for-purpose innovative solution that helps align Vukile’s funding strategy with its ESG goals. Vukile is committed to making a difference for our communities, and we are pleased to partner with Absa.”

As a specialist retail Reit, Vukile owns retail assets across South Africa and Spain. Vukile’s assets are valued at around R40bn, with 40% in South Africa and 60% in Spain. The Spanish assets are held in the 99.5% Vukile-owned Madrid-listed subsidiary, Castellana Properties Socimi.

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