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Emira Property Fund buys stakes in two more Texas malls

Emira Property Fund buys stakes in two more Texas malls

As much as 6% of the diversified group’s asset base is in the US, as it tries to benefit from strong consumer spending there

Emira Property Fund has bought stakes in two shopping centres in Texas, US, to further strengthen its footprint in the world’s largest property market.

The latest acquisitions take Emira’s total retail centre assets in Texas to eight.

CEO Geoff Jennett said the latest acquisitions strengthened the value and quality of Emira’s equity in its US retail portfolio and take its value to $61m, or more than R850m.

Emira’s US retail property exposure was now almost 6% of its total portfolio. This put Emira on track to achieve its goal of 8% of its total assets in the US by June.

“I am confident that we can conclude our ninth investment in the US by the end of next month,” Jennett said.

The company invests in the US in partnership with the Rainier Group of companies.

Emira spent $24m to buy San Antonio Crossing, a 13,935m2property in Texas. The centre is fully let and 88% occupied. San Antonio has a population of 1.5-million people and was the fastest growing city in the US in 2016.

Emira also bought Dallas-based Wheatland Towne Crossing for $32.2m. The centre is 99% occupied.

The group’s equity portions of its investments in San Antonio Crossing and Wheatland Towne is $4.15m and $6.3m, respectively.

“We are excited about these two new investments. Our American exposure is driving growth in our dividend, while South African commercial property goes through a very difficult period,” said Jennett.

Emira’s directly held SA portfolio is worth R12.5bn, and it also  owns 34.9% of SA residential property owner Transcend and R941m worth of Growthpoint Australia.

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