Growthpoint Properties and Investec Asset Management, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), have announced the commencement of operations of their Pan-African real estate investment business; Growthpoint Investec African Properties (GIAP), which is managed by Growthpoint Investec African Property Management.

GIAP has secured capital commitments in excess of US$212 million from several large institutional and international investors, with Growthpoint committing US$50 million. The property and investment management company will seek to invest in income-producing commercial real estate assets in select cities across the African continent where targeted investments will be further diversified by sector, with GIAP’s mandate spanning office, retail and industrial properties.

“For Growthpoint, the commencement of GIAP furthers our stated strategy to introduce new revenue streams with our funds management business. The African fund was first announced in 2015 and has taken some time to get to this point on account of economic and property cycles, so we are excited to get started,” said Norbert Sasse, Group CEO of Growthpoint Properties.

The group is looking to select investments with the ability to support long-term rental growth from top-tier tenants, and thereby generate sustainable investor returns.

“A key issue for real estate developers across the continent has been their ability to efficiently exit completed assets so they can recycle and re-deploy capital. We are working closely with a number of players in the space who consider GIAP’s entry as an asset aggregator, a welcome development in this regard,” said Thomas Reilly, MD of Growthpoint Investec African Property Management.

GIAP is expected to aid the development of local African real estate markets and to contribute to the wide-ranging developmental impact which real estate can have in such markets.

“Africa has had few sophisticated players with the ability to meaningfully impact the capital markets in the real estate sector. We believe that GIAP is well positioned and has the necessary backing to add to the growth of this market over time, attract the necessary skills, and extract value on a sustainable basis,” Thabo Khojane, MD of Investec Asset Management Africa.

Even though the move comes three years After the South African based company announced plans for the joint venture for a Pan-African real estate fund, the group brings to the ball park, a wealth of experience and a huge financial muscle which will be beneficial for further development of the real estate sector in the continent. Growth Point is the the largest South African primary REIT listed on the JSE.