articles | 19 April 2024

South African property giant invests in Nicosia malls

Pareto Limited, a major shareholder in Atterbury Europe Holding B.V., has agreed to exchange part of its debt exposure in Atterbury Europe for a direct interest in both the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi, according to an announcement.

The announcement explained that this transaction aims to deleverage Atterbury Europe’s balance sheet, facilitating further growth opportunities, such as the proposed new Mall of Limassol development. Additionally, while Atterbury Europe’s shareholding interest in the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi will be diluted to around 30 per cent, Atterbury Europe and the existing local management team will continue to manage the daily operations of the assets closely with tenants and customers. The board of directors of the Mall of Cyprus and Mall of Engomi have expressed their support for the proposed transaction, scheduling an Extraordinary General Meeting on April 24, 2024, for shareholders to vote on the resolutions. It should be noted that Atterbury Europe Holding B.V., which is headquartered in Leiden in the Netherlands, was established in 2014 out of Atterbury Property South Africa, which has a 30-year track record of developing and managing retail and commercial assets.

The announcement noted that “Atterbury Europe is staffed by a highly experienced team, aiming to seek investment opportunities to expand the company’s footprint in Europe”. Consequently, it has achieved success in developing shopping centres and offices in Cyprus, Serbia, and Romania over the last decade. Moreover, Atterbury Europe, through its subsidiary Atterbury Cyprus Limited, made its first landmark investment in 2015 with the acquisitions of The Mall of Cyprus and The Mall of Engomi from the Shacolas Group, which marked the beginning of the company’s enduring relationship with the Cypriot community. Since these acquisitions, both the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi have been redeveloped and expanded to better serve the community of Cyprus.

Atterbury Europe is a joint venture company with Pareto Limited as a major shareholder. “Atterbury Europe and Pareto have agreed to a shareholder transaction in terms of which Pareto wishes to exchange part of its debt exposure in Atterbury Europe for a direct interest in both the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi,” the announcement stated. It should be noted that Pareto is an unlisted real estate investment company, that in addition to its investment in Atterbury Europe, develops, owns, manages, and operates super regional, regional shopping centres and mixed development complexes in South Africa. Pareto is owned by Africa’s largest pension fund and has a property portfolio of approximately €2 billion gross.

Pareto CEO Malose Kekana stated that “for us it made sense for our geographical expansion into Europe in 2019, to joint venture with fellow South Africans already set up in Europe”. “With our direct investment into the Mall of Cyprus and Mall of Engomi now, we will essentially be replicating the model already well established at the Atterbury Europe level,” he added. The announcement explained that “this transaction is beneficial for the Atterbury Europe group as it will deleverage Atterbury Europe’s balance sheet and as a result facilitate further growth such as the proposed new Mall of Limassol development”. It added that the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi in turn will benefit from a strong “shareholder of reference” in Pareto.

Although Atterbury Europe’s shareholding interest in the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi will be diluted by the transaction to approximately 30 per cent, Atterbury Europe and the existing local management team will continue their hands-on management of the daily operations of the assets in close cooperation with their tenants and customers.

Henk Deist, CEO of Atterbury Europe, said that “this transaction enables us to do more in Cyprus, not less”. “We will continue to render property and asset management to the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi,” he stated. “Therefore, we will continue our relationships with tenants, banks and all other stakeholders of the companies and at the same time have a stronger balance sheet to support growth,” Deist added.

The announcement further stated that “Atterbury Europe and Pareto remain committed to its employees, tenants and most importantly its loyal customers and will work together to continue to provide a world-class offering to the Cypriot community”.



Source: Cyprus Mail

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