International News

Collins Property Group targets the Western Cape and Europe

Collins Property Group CEO, Friedrich Esterhuyse.

The Collins Property Group (formerly Tradehold) has acquired an interest in several properties in the Netherlands as part of its plan to expand its footprint abroad.

A senior member of its management will be permanently based in Europe from early 2024 to further expand the company’s portfolio, says Collins Property Group CEO, Friedrich Esterhuyse.

The company recently published its interim results for the six months to August 2023, reporting a profit from continuing operations before non-controlling interest of R159 million compared to R139 million in 2022’s corresponding period.

Esterhuyse says the extensive restructuring of the company and its shareholding to convert it to a REIT is in process with the expectation that this will take place over the next few months. As part of its restructuring, an agreement was reached with U REIT Collins (Pty) Ltd. to swap a 25.7% shareholding in Collins Property Projects (Pty) Ltd., its South African based subsidiary, for a 21.78% shareholding in the REIT through the issue of listed shares at R13.64 per ordinary share. The name of the business has also been changed from Tradehold to Collins Property Group.

The company’s board intended to declare an interim dividend however, this will only be formally announced once it has been granted REIT status by the JSE.

On an operational level, its property portfolio, which was based mainly in Gauteng and in KwaZulu-Natal, is extending into the Western Cape with a focus on convenience retail. “Several substantial projects are in various stages of development. For these we are targeting the major retail groups as anchor tenants.” 

Collins is recycling its assets to free up capital for new opportunities and at the same time, increasing the overall quality of its portfolio of over 1.5 million square metres. This, for the most part, comprised large industrial warehouses and distribution centres leased to major national tenants with a weighted average lease expiry (WALE) date of 4.7 years.

Despite the harsh business environment, the group reported a 97.5% rental collection rate. Its vacant space rose slightly from 3% in the corresponding period to 4.04%, mainly due to some of its smaller tenants unable to survive the tough economic conditions.