Company has completed $400m of work in Africa with new projects such as specialist hospitals and corporate accommodation lined up
Gateway Real Estate Africa (Grea), which is partly owned by SA’s largest asset management firm, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has completed more than $400m (R5.8bn) worth of developments across Africa in less than three years.
The development company, which was founded by Greg Pearson, now has a $500m pipeline of projects which include specialist hospitals, corporate accommodation for US embassies and data centres.
Pearson, the co-founder of London Stock Exchange-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Grit Real Estate, said on Tuesday that he “started the business because of the tremendous opportunities in Africa. We now provide real estate solutions for global conglomerates looking to come into Africa.”
The PIC now holds 48.5% of Grea while Grit owns 20%.
The PIC, which manages trillions of rand in assets on behalf of public sector entities such as the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), has said it wants to invest in commercial property with higher returns.
Earlier in April it released a prospectus of 70 properties held by the GEPF it had put up for sale.
Grea’s completed developments include the Acacia Estate corporate accommodation development, the Halliburton mud plant and the Bollore warehouse in Mozambique. It has also built diplomatic accommodation in Kenya and Ethiopia as well as refurbished Anfa Place Shopping Centre in Morocco and the Metroplex Mall in Uganda.
“The demand for diplomatic housing and corporate accommodation across the continent is rising steadily. We have positioned ourselves as a developer of choice in this property type,” Pearson said.
He said data centres were also in heavy demand across the continent. These were buildings used to store and process large amounts of corporate data.
Grea was also developing an oncology hospital in Mauritius, he said.
“We are creating hospital hubs in east and west Africa as right now too many customers have to travel far distances to get specialised treatment.”
The company expects to achieve liquidity in the next four to eight years, which could include a listing.
Publication: Business Day