Earlier this month, a South African property investment and development company named Pivotal entered into an MOU to acquire a 37.1% shareholding in the $104 Wings Towers office development in Victoria Island, Lagos. Pivotal will join Oando and RMB Westport as a new joint venture partner for this development, which intends to bring in 27,000 sq. m of prime office space to Lagos’ office market in Q2 2016.
Increasing interest from non-Nigerian investors in the country’s commercial real estate space is indicative of the high value some investors are placing on potential opportunities. Though developments costs are high and risks are present, the premium for investment can be rewarding. As the number of investors seeking for returns in this space increases however, competition and added pressure could see this premium fall.
Nonetheless, the acquisition of a stake in The Wings means that Pivotal can hit the ground running through an existing development without having to start from scratch. Other foreign investors like Momentum, who plans on raising $250m by the end of June 2015 for an African Real Estate Fund, will have to. Their fund will focus on retail and office developments in Nigeria, Tanzania and other African countries.
Pivotal funded this acquisition, along with a few others in South Africa through a combination of new share issuance, additional borrowings, a rights offer undertaken in September 2014, and the R1 billion placement raised at listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in December 2014.