Posted on October 15, 2014

Investors’confidence in the economy of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has continued to grow with Land Equity Group, a South African equity finance and development company, planning to expand into Nigeria and Ghana in the third quarter (Q3) of 2014.

This move, the company explains, will incorporate their real estate knowledge, development skills, experience and access to funding, adding that SSA is a new frontier market for them and they look forward to taking up the challenge.

Stuart Chait, executive chairman, Land Equity Group, said in a statement that they were approaching the opportunities one at a time, tying up joint ventures with strong and committed local partners, and bringing their development and capital raising skills to the table.

“We’ve sourced the top African real estate advisory team, and we’re now finalising a ground-based development management team,”he disclosed.

Land Equity has already landed three retail projects in Nigeria, funded with institutional money, and has another five projects in the pipeline. The company, a privately-held property investment, development and private equity company started in 2008 by Chait and Russell Smith, has in-house expertise covering all facets of the real-estate industry with strong presence in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The group is seeking joint venture partners for its drive into Nigeria and Ghana, including local and national government. Its expertise covers property investment, property asset management, property finance and risk management, retail, commercial and industrial property development, commercial, residential and retail township development, redevelopment of retail, commercial and industrial property, among others.

Chait disclosed further that their big drive in Nigeria would be decentralised and large mixed-use projects, which is where their experience lies.

”My inclination is that both Lagos and Abuja need urban space that works. Ergonomic ‘people-friendly’buildings and campuses as well as careful long-term planning, new utilities, de-congested traffic, and a world-class development designed for diverse functions. In Ghana, we’ll be focusing on a number of convenience centres, industrial distribution centres, as well as large mixed-use projects,”he said.

A property entrepreneur, Chait has been behind some of South Africa’s largest privately-held property businesses, having co-founded Mvelaphanda Property Development Holdings in 2001, the first and largest Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) property company, with BEE billionaire Tokyo Sexwale.

Source: Business Day Online 3 June 2014