Old Mutual to sell local centres

2009-04-06 00:00

The Old Mutual Property Investments company, which effectively owns Hayfields and Cascades shopping centres, is in the process of selling both major Pietermaritzburg retail centres.

The company told The Witness that although there are interested parties, deals have not been signed in respect of either centre.

Cascades Shopping Centre has been owned by the company since March 1990.

Old Mutual Investment Group Property Investments has effectively owned Hayfields Centre since July 2005.

“All three centres [including Quarry Centre in Hilton] are managed by Old Mutual Property Investments. Within Old Mutual Property Investments, Triangle Core Fund owns Cascades centre and SA Corporate Real Estate fund — a listed Old Mutual Property Investments fund — owns Hayfields and the Quarry centre. Hayfields and Cascades are on the disposal list of Old Mutual Property Investments,” said the company.

The company stressed that it does not have a particular strategy of divesting in Pietermaritzburg.

The reason for the move relates to the fact that Old Mutual is re-balancing all its fund allocations given the current economic environment.

The move signals the Triangle Fund’s shift away from secondary nodes and smaller holdings to primary nodes and premier holdings.

“SA Corporate is selling out of some smaller retail centres as it has too high a weighting towards small retail centres.”

Old Mutual Property Investments is a major national player in retail, with 24 centres in KZN (including Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga) and 74 centres in South Africa.

The move comes amid the reports that the group plans to grow its property portfolio from R28 billion to R100 billion by 2015.

Cascades Shopping Centre is a 13 553 square metre retail centre with 44 tenants. The group said although Cascades’s footfall is down by four percent, centre turnover has increased by 5,4%.

Hayfields Shopping Centre — covering 12 377 square metres with 54 tenants — has turnover statistics from grocery anchors showing growth of six to seven percent.

kavith@witness.co.za

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