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South Africa: Equites REIT to lift UK property exposure after raising R1bn

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Monday, 12 July 2021 19:40

South Africa's Equites will develop a new distribution centre for Amazon in the UK. REUTERS/Lee Smith

Equites Property Fund plans to increase its holdings in the UK after raising R1bn ($70m) from South African investors, CEO Andrea Taverna-Turisan tells The Africa Report.

The sale through an off-market, accelerated book-building initially sought to raise R500m and was increased due to strong demand. Even at R1bn, it was oversubscribed, Taverna-Turisan says from Cape Town. The firm could have raised more money but prefers to avoid the risk of “cash drag” caused by having too much undeployed capital on the balance sheet, he adds.

Equites is a specialist logistics real estate investment trust (REIT) listed in Johannesburg. Tenants in South Africa include Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Imperial Logistics and Nestlé. The firm has been seeking ways to diversify away from the South African market and is betting that the rise of e-commerce will mean increased demand for warehouse space in the UK.