Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  25 Jun 2012

VENTURES: No More Chips For Cape Empowerment


Recent Western Cape Business News

BEE investment company Cape Empowerment (CAP) has sold off its remaining shareholding in gaming investment company Grand Parade Investments to concentrate on growing its property and services hubs.

Earlier this year CAP sold 10.7 million GPI shares to The Chandos Trust for R25 million – after collecting around R6.4 million in special dividends from the investment.

The sale of GPI shares is somewhat surprising considering how hard CAP fought to secure an influential stake in GPI – buying out various empowerment entities who held shares in the then unlisted gaming investment company.

But the decision must speak volumes of CAP’s confidence in its remaining interests - most notably its fledgling security division, its soon-to-be-listed property venture Ascension and its City Bowl property development project Lions Head (which holds development land valued at some R85 million).

Other peripheral businesses like Cape Town-based cabling group Dynamic have also been sold, in this instance bringing in a small profit of R2.8 million.

A successful listing of Ascension Property will no doubt erase any notions that CAP should have clung onto its holding in GPI (which, after all, is regarded as a steady dividend payer thanks to dividend flows from the GrandWest casino).

Ascension, which is looking to raise R550 million, holds several large Cape Town properties – leased mainly to government tenants. These include 45 on Castle in Cape Town, which is leased to the department of Water Affairs, and the nearby Matrix (which has Land Affairs as a tenant).

The company also holds buildings in Bellville, leased to Water Affairs.

The take-up of shares in Ascension’s public share offer (which sets a minimum capital raising target of R260 million) will provide some hints as to whether CAP will see some upside in Ascension.

Future plans include a sizeable acquisition of a commercial property on the Cape Town Foreshore.

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