Attacq, co-owners of Ikeja City Mall in Lagos – Nigeria, have commenced the process of aligning their existing portfolio to their long-term strategy as they prepare to convert into a Real Estate Investment Trust. As reported by South African news outlet Business Daily, the investment strategy will on focus Midrand in South Africa, the rest of Africa as well as other offshore opportunities via their 30.8% stake in MAS Real Estate, a western European property investor.
Attacq was created in 2005 and is part of the larger Atterbury Group, who are a major player in the investment, development and management of commercial real estate assets in Southern Africa. In late 2015, Attacq and Hyprop acquired 100% of Ikeja City Mall from Actis, RMB Westport and Paragon Holdings.
Attacq’s notable interests in Pretoria and Namibia are being sold along with other non core assets. Others in Ghana and Namibia will be maintained.
“We want to focus on our existing portfolio, our Waterfall development portfolio, our investment in European group MAS Real Estate and our exposure to various African shopping centres,” said recently appointed chief operating officer Jackie van Niekerk. Attacq will become a Reit on July 1 2018.
If challenges facing the Nigerian REIT industry are not resolved, more prime commercial assets will be transferred into REITs listed in other African countries. Other investors including Resilient Africa have indicated interest in exiting their growing portfolio of Nigerian retail assets via a REIT but if the legislation is not accommodating, that will be difficult. Actions by the regulators, government etc such as the inclusion of Real Estate Investment Vehicles in the pioneer list are steps in the right direction, but a lot more needs to be done.