Home » South African tycoon Des de Beer’s REIT sells $51-million stake in UK company

South African tycoon Des de Beer’s REIT sells $51-million stake in UK company

by Omokolade Ajayi
Des de Beer

Resilient, a real estate investment trust (Reit) under the leadership of South African magnate Des de Beer, has successfully divested its stake in the UK property development and investment company Hammerson Plc, in a move aimed at extracting value from its existing investment.

According to the interim financial results released by Resilient for the first half of the year, which concluded on June 30, 2023, the Reit revealed the sale of 162,431,649 shares in Hammerson.

The divestment amounted to a substantial R982.2 million ($51.6 million), aligning with Resilient’s energy-focused initiatives and its commitment to its strategic expansion plans while maintaining conservative leverage.

De Beer, a leading figure in the business executive who ranks among South Africa’s wealthiest individuals, spearheaded Resilient’s investment of approximately R732 million ($38.53 million) in Hammerson in the preceding year.

However, the recent transaction involving the sale of its holding in the UK company marks a significant achievement, generating a commendable gain of R250.2 million ($13.16 million) for Resilient. This profit stems from the robust performance of Hammerson’s shares, which surged by more than 24-percent year-to-date.

A substantial portion of the proceeds from this transaction, which exceeded $50 million, will be allocated towards implementing solar energy infrastructure and battery backup solutions for Resilient’s South African properties.

This strategic move comes in response to the nation’s pressing electricity crisis and frequent power outages, predicted by the Central Bank to result in a staggering $13-billion loss to the South African economy this year.

Resilient also announced its plans for a leadership transition. CEO de Beer, an influential figure in the company’s growth trajectory, is set to retire at the end of December 2023. Post his retirement, de Beer will continue to contribute as a non-independent, non-executive director on the board, ensuring continuity and stability.

The company confirmed that the board appointed Johann Kriek as the CEO-elect.

Under the leadership of de Beer, Resilient has emerged as a key player in the real estate sector. The Reit boasts an expansive portfolio, encompassing 27 shopping centers with a combined gross lettable area of 1.2 million square meters.

In addition to its stake in Hammerson, Resilient also owns a substantial interest in Lighthouse Properties and holds direct property investments in shopping center portfolios situated in France and Nigeria.

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