Hyprop has increased its shareholding from 78% to 100% in Hystead’s four premium shopping centres in Eastern Europe, namely Skopje City Mall in North Macedonia, City Center one East, and City Center one West in Croatia, as well as The Mall in Bulgaria.
As a result, the REIT’s Eastern European exposure has increased to 32% of the group’s total investment property which falls in line with its diversification strategy to increase its exposure to Eastern Europe, diluting its exposure to South Africa’s weaker economy. The transaction also simplifies the group structure and normalises the accounting treatment of its investment in Hystead.
“We have fulfilled all the conditions of the Hystead transaction, including shareholders’ approval at the General Meeting held on Friday, 25 March 2022. At the meeting, 79.7% of the issued shares were voted, of which 99.9% voted in favour of the transaction,” commented Morné Wilken, CEO of Hyprop.
“The Eastern Europe portfolio fits Hyprop’s strategy of holding dominant retail centres in their respective catchment areas. The focus remains the retention of these centres’ dominance through active asset management, strategic redevelopments and refinancing or settling the Euro equity debt. The experienced in-country asset management and property management teams will join Hyprop, which ensures that we retain continuity and in-country know-how”.
“The key priorities for the next six months will be implementing the disposal of Delta City Podgorica; continuing to strengthen our balance sheet; annual reviews of our portfolio to ensure we retain assets that fit our strategy; continued repositioning of our portfolio; and implementing ESG initiatives”, he concluded.