Property Flash


May 7 2024 17:00

JSE real estate investment trust (Reit), Attacq has reached an agreement to acquire the remaining 20% share of Mall of Africa for R1.07bn at a yield of 8%. At 131 000m2, this is the largest mall built in one phase in South Africa. The independent external market valuation is higher though, as this price is a 7.7% discount to the valuation.

The company said in a statement that Attacq Waterfall Investment Company (AWIC), a 70%-held subsidiary of Attacq and Att MOA 20, reached a conditional agreement for AWIC to acquire the seller’s 20% undivided share of the leasehold rights and rental enterprises in respect of the Mall of Africa. The seller is beneficially held by Atterbury Property Holdings and Atterbury Property.

Attacq’s CEO, Jackie van Niekerk, said the company had intended to own 100% of Mall of Africa eventually. It is Attacq’s flagship asset and is considered to be a popular super regional mall. It anchors Waterfall City, a large scale mixed-use precinct which includes residential, logistics and collaboration hubs as well as two hotels, all of which drive foot traffic to the mall.

At the end of December 2023, the mall’s compounded annual trading density growth over the past three years was 16.1% while its rent to turnover ratio was 7.5%. Going forward, the mall will benefit from the continued densification of Waterfall City as AWIC rolls out its development pipeline of residential, logistics and collaboration hubs.

“We had a pre-emptive right to buy the remaining 20% of the mall. At the end of last year, Atterbury approached us as they wanted to sell their stake. It took a few months to get the cash together and now we have bought the stake,” van Niekerk said.

She said Attacq had been the “insider of Mall of Africa” for years.

“We know the mall very wall. It anchors Waterfall City. Owning all of the mall will help create a catalyst for Attacq’s growth. We sold our stake in MAS Real Estate which was not paying us any income and have now acquired more of an income producing asset,” she said.

MAS owns properties in eastern Europe.

Mall of Africa opened on April 28 2016 and eight years later, it is valued at R5.7bn and competes with other super regional malls such as Fourways Mall and Sandton City. Attacq has 30 000m2 of retail bulk at Mall of Africa but management is unlikely to unlock this space just yet.

“We want to bring more lifestyle offerings to the mall which can serve its existing customer base. We are finding auxiliary uses for different parts of the mall and seeing where we can help our tenants to thrive,” van Niekerk said.

The mall is also home to Attacq’s SOOK Space, an on-demand leasing solution aimed at small business enterprises’ needs and emerging entrepreneurs.

Recently, Attacq announced the opening of six brand new rooftop Balwin Padel courts in September, adding an additional lifestyle element to the asset that includes the Waterfall Park and also features Bounce indoor trampoline park.

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