South Africa's PIC becomes largest shareholder in Texton Property Fund

It increases its shareholding in Texton from 5.2 percent to a significant 18.9 percent.

South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has increased its shareholding in JSE-listed real estate company Texton Property Fund, growing its stake from 5.2 percent to 18.9 percent.

The PIC manages more than R2 trillion in assets on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund and other funds. It invests these funds on the JSE, making it an influential investor in South Africa’s economy.

The transaction means that the PIC has now become Texton’s largest shareholder.

Marius Muller (pictured), CEO of Texton, said about the transaction: “The PIC is a long-standing shareholder of Texton and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them and all shareholders on our journey towards positive performance.”

The PIC’s increased shareholding follows the transfer of shares formerly owned by Texton’s Broad-Based Empowerment consortium to the PIC, after the empowerment entity defaulted on its loan with the PIC.

A default event had occurred on the loan that PIC made to the consortium to acquire 14.8 percent (net of treasury shares) of the group.

“We know the road ahead isn’t going to be easy given the amount of work that needs to be done around entrenching both sound business practices and critical property basics within the company. We’re constantly challenging ourselves to find the best solutions to move Texton forward and remain firmly committed to turning the ship around despite the economic environment being unsupportive and weak property fundamentals,” said Marius.

Texton is a diversified real estate company with total property assets based in the UK and South Africa valued at R5.2 billion at 31 December 2018. It invests in assets ranging from offices, industrial and logistics facilities to retail properties.

In South Africa, its investment is focused on quality, well-maintained properties concentrated in the country’s metropolitan cities. In the UK, Texton’s investment strategy targets high-yielding, single-tenant properties in strong secondary nodes.