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Emira Property Fund has made two further equity investments into grocery-anchored dominant shopping centres in the USA, both located in the state of Texas.

This furthers Emira’s growing US investment strategy through which it has now assembled a portfolio of eight value-focused retail centre assets in thriving states of the world’s largest economy . Geoff Jennett, CEO of Emira, says: “Our latest acquisitions strengthen the value and quality of Emira’s equity in its US retail portfolio and take its value to USD61-million, or more than R850-million. “

Emira’s US retail property exposur e is now almost 6% of its total portfolio. This places Emira on track to achieve its goal of 8% of its total assets in the US by June 2019.

The JSE-listed REIT co-invests in the US with its in-countr y partners, the Rainier Group of Companies.

The seventh shopping centre to be included in its US portfolio is the 150 000 sqf San Antonio Crossing in Texas. The centre is 100% let and 88% occupied by national tenants and has a 7,6-year weighted average lease expiry (WALE). It is shadow-anchor ed by Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B Plus!. The shopping centre is well located at one of the busiest intersections in the high-growth area of San Antonio, which has a population of 1,5 million people, a diversified economy , and was the fastest growing city in the USA in 2016/17.

San Antonio Crossing was acquired for USD24m at an 8,85% initial capitalisation rate. Emira’s equity investment totals USD4.15m at an 11,2% initial yield. The property transferred in February 2019.

The eighth shopping centre acquired by Emira’s US partnership is Wheatland Towne Crossing in Dallas, Texas. The 206 000 sqf openair, value-oriented centre is shadow-anchor ed by mega-retailer Target. It is 99% occupied and 90% let to national credit tenants. The centre has a WALE of 4,4 years.

Wheatland Towne Crossing is situated at a major highway interchange in Dallas-F ortWorth, which is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the US, and the country’s largest inland metro.

The retail centre was acquired for USD32,2-million at an 8,67% initial capitalisation rate. Emira’s equity portion of the investment is USD6,3-million, made at an initial yield of 10,95%. The property transferred at the end of March 2019.

“Both centres further our US investment strategy and are true to Emira’s criteria of investing in open-air, value-orientated retail centres with grocery stores as anchors or shadow-anchors, “notes Jennett.

Emira is a medium-cap diversified REIT that is invested in a quality, balanced portfolio of office, retail, industrial and residential properties.At 31 December 2018, its directly held assets comprised 104 properties valued at R12,5-billion.

It invests indirectly in 22 shopping centres valued at R1,04-billion through its exposur e to Enyuka Property Fund. It also has a 34,9% holding in JSE AltX-listed Transcend Residential Property Fund.

Emira is internationally diversified through its investment in ASX-listed Growthpoint Properties Australia valued at R941-million, and its equity investments in eight grocery-anchored open-air convenience shopping centres with a combined value of USD61-million through its USA subsidiary


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