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Sanlam and Atterbury acquire biggest mall in Ghana

Sanlam Capital Markets, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sanlam Limited (SLM), through its properties division, has acquired an 85% shareholding in Accra Mall, the largest shopping mall in Ghana.

The acquisition of the property from Actis, was made jointly with property and investment company Atterbury, which will take 50% of the 85% stake. This announcement comes ahead of the imminent launch by the Sanlam Group of the Sanlam Africa Real Estate Fund.

Sanlam is a leading diversified financial services group with a presence in 10 countries across Sub Saharan Africa. Johan van der Merwe, CEO of Sanlam Investments said, "The growth of Sanlam's Africa business is a key strategic focus. This fund adds to Sanlam's product offering across the region and will have the ability to leverage off the Sanlam footprint already established."

Thomas Reilly, CEO of Sanlam Properties says that while there are other property development funds operating in Sub Saharan Africa, the Sanlam Africa Real Estate Fund will be one of the first real estate income funds with an investment focus across Sub Saharan Africa. "The fund will focus on completed income earning real estate assets only and as such will aim to largely mitigate development risks and risks associated with title."

Located in Ghana's capital and largest city, Accra, the Accra Mall is the first asset to be purchased for the planned $500 million fund. It will make A-Grade investments in dominant commercial real estate assets throughout mandated countries in Sub Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho.

"It will provide a platform for investors to gain access to attractive US Dollar denominated returns in Sub Saharan countries which are politically stable and have vibrant growth prospects," says Reilly.

Accra Mall measures some 21,000m2 and was developed in 2008 by Actis. It is the dominant A-Grade asset in the region with a strong trading history, attracting as many as 135,000 shoppers on a weekly basis. Accra Mall is anchored by international retail tenants such as Shoprite and Game. "We are very pleased with the acquisition of such a quality asset in terms of its investment return potential and look forward to maximizing the value of the investment for the investors in our fund," says Reilly.

Specific details pertaining to the Sanlam Africa Real Estate Fund will be made available to the market at a later stage.


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