Zimbabwean investors, including pension funds, are working on plans to take over a US$113 million (N$1,8 billion) property, The Grove Mall of Namibia, in Windhoek.
The deal, which is at an advanced stage, is being coordinated by two local financial companies Stratus Capital Partners, an asset management firm, and Bard Santner Markets Inc, a new Harare-based financial advisory firm.
Bard is the lead financial adviser, while the Chikuni Shenjere-Mutiswa-led Stratus Capital Partners brokered the deal.
Shenjere-Mutiswa is an experienced chartered financial analyst.
Bard is led by local banker Senziwani Sikhosana, who has over two decades of experience in banking, investment, and capital markets.
At Bard, Sikhosana works with a local business consortium which includes Tatenda Hungwe, Alfred Mthimkhulu and international finance expert Vinod Bussawah from Mauritius.
Market sources say Bard and Stratus are negotiating with local pension funds to invest in the massive regional property, which has an annual turnover of N$890 (US$56 million).
The sources say pension funds are keen to acquire the property from South African property giant, Atterbury Property Holdings, owned by the JSE-listed Atterbury Group.
Atterbury is a real estate development, investment and management company. It develops prime mixed-use, commercial, retail and industrial properties. From its South African roots, it has spread its wings across Africa and into Europe.
It has developed many properties in South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe worth billions.
Bard chief executive officer Sikhosana could not give details on the deal.
“I’m sorry, we can’t comment on the deal now. We let you know when we are ready,” he said.
However, a source said the transaction was almost consummated.
“Negations are still ongoing, but they are now at an advanced stage. Atterbury, a South African property development company, is selling equity in The Grove Mall of Namibia for N$1，8 billion (US$113 million). Zimbabwean companies are interested in investing in the property which is being sold by Bard and Stratus in Harare,” a source said.
Until relatively recently, pension funds invested primarily in stocks and bonds, often using a liability-matching strategy. Now they increasingly invest in a variety of asset classes, including private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and securities, to hedge inflation.
The current Pension and Provident Funds Act in Zimbabwe is being amended through the Pensions and Provident Funds Bill to modernise and strengthen the regulation and supervision of the pensions industry while giving them flexibility to invest in other markets.
There has been very little legislation on the subject of pensions law, with the current law statute having been promulgated in 1976.
However, the adoption of the 2013 constitution and the Justice Smith Commission of Inquiry of 2017 has brought with it great optimism and potential enormous impact on the pensions sector.