Growthpoint Properties bets on the UK despite Brexit uncertainty

It is in talks to acquire UK-based shopping mall owner Capital & Regional. 

South Africa-based real estate company Growthpoint Properties is in talks to acquire a majority stake in UK regional shopping centre landlord Capital & Regional.

Capital & Regional said in a statement on Wednesday that the talks involved Growthpoint making an offer in cash for Capital & Counties shares, and an injection of capital to support the company’s strategy through a subscription for new Capital & Regional shares.

Capital & Regional owns shopping centres in Blackburn, Hemel Hempstead, Ilford, Luton, Maidstone, Walthamstow and Wood Green in the UK. 

The UK government is seemingly in turmoil while its parliament is suspended in the run-up to October 31, when it is scheduled to leave the EU.

The Brexit process, which began in 2016, has claimed high-profile South African companies, among others, Rebosis Property Fund, which recently exited UK-based New Frontier Properties, selling its 49.4 percent stake in the company for a mere £40 (about R730), after buying the interest for R1.2 billion in 2015.

Capital & Regional chief executive Lawrence Hutchings (pictured) said he was limited by what he could say about the potential deal at this stage, but he was “pleased” that Growthpoint had “expressed interest”, as it was a “confirmation of our strategy.”

Growthpoint’s main assets are its 450 commercial properties in South Africa valued at R78.3 billion.