Liberty Two Degrees Malls win 32 Footprint Marketing Awards in 2020

17 November 2020 – The co-owned malls of Liberty Two Degrees (L2D), a precinct focused, retail-centred REITwere awarded a considerable number of Footprint Marketing Awards by the South African Council of ShoppingCentres (SACSC). The awards recognise exceptional shopping centre marketing, innovation and creativeachievements, together with economic success and excellence within the South African property industry. Theannual Footprint Marketing Awards which attract hundreds of industry players were held via Zoom on November16.

Jonathan Sinden, Chief Operating Officer of L2D comments, “Our malls are positioned as an experience in and of themselves. We remain focused on continuously improving the quality of our malls and introducing innovative and unique experiences that attract tenants and shoppers to our spaces.

This is achieved through the strategic implementation of initiatives which are centered around our building blocks of; Smart Spaces, which aims to create smart environments that integrate technology to enhance the customer and retailer experience as a strategic growth area, Good Spaces that are positioned to transform the retail industry in an environmentally sustainable manner, Interactive Spaces that provide an interchange of ideas and experiences within the malls and Safe Spaces which underpin our building blocks with the aim to ensure the mall environments hold the highest standard of safety and security for tenants and shoppers. We are excited about these awards as they prove that we are making great progress against our strategic objectives”.

In total, L2D malls collected 5 Gold Footprint Marketing Awards for its iconic Sandton City, also taking home 8 Silver and 19 Bronze awards across 13 categories respectively for its portfolio. The management of L2D is passionate about operational excellence and staying abreast of trends to cater to the ever-changing needs of customers, making the L2D malls dominant in their precincts. Management look forward to another year of marketing innovation and forward thinking for the benefit of all shoppers and tenants.

Heloise Mgcina, Marketing Executive at L2D comments, “We are pleased to have delivered on that requirement and stand very proud of how our malls have performed at this year’s Footprint Marketing Awards which are held in high esteem. We pride ourselves in all our marketing initiatives, which are implemented through Excellerate Brand Management, and have contributed to the recognition of our malls as meaningful contributors to the communities in which they operate”.

“We congratulate Sam Ntuli Mall for its well-deserved Spectrum Award win, as well as The Foschini Group, for winning the RDDA Spectrum Award for their Sport scene store in Sandton City”, continues Mgcina.

The malls which are positioned as centres of excellence in their respective communities, are co-owned by L2D and Liberty Group Limited (Liberty) and in the case of Sandton City, the centre is also co-owned by Pareto Limited(Pareto).

L2D is focused on continuously improving the quality of its assets, introducing innovative and unique experiences that attract tenants, shoppers and visitors to its malls in order to create sustainable value for stakeholders. L2D aims to create spaces that provide a sense of community and go beyond the ordinary shopping experience.

L2D building blocks

L2D’s aim is to create spaces that enable personal, memorable human engagements and seamless interactionsbetween retailers and consumers, continually driving authentic encounters through community-driven engagementsand a strong focus on sustainable and ethical practices. This has been articulated through the L2D strategic buildingblocks, which help futureproof the assets and truly set them apart in the market and sharpen the focus of L2D’sefforts and business activities. The L2D building blocks are:

  • Good Spaces: L2D’s shopping malls are ecosystems that provide trading and experiential environments forsome of the world’s most iconic brands as well as brands in high demand. L2D understands the importanceof partnering with its stakeholders to accelerate its positive impact on the natural environment. L2D remainsbold in driving its net zero commitments, which is evident at a number of its business operations and sites.L2D continues to reduce carbon emissions, water use and waste generation as it moves towards achievingits net zero sustainability target by 2030. Supportive initiatives have been implemented to achieve this goal.
  • Smart Spaces: L2D aims to secure and sustain its leading position in the market by remaining at the forefrontof innovative design thinking. The creation of smart environments that integrate technology to enhance thecustomer and retailer experience is a key initiative in this strategic growth area. Through Smart Spaces, L2Daims to accelerate its roadmap to create the seamless interaction between digital and physical retail
  • Interactive Spaces: Interactive Spaces is about providing an interchange of ideas and experiences withinthe L2D malls. The emphasis is on interaction, a fast pace, excitement, experience and stimulus, with avision to create vibrant and diverse spaces with experience at their heart. Interactive Spaces encouragescommon ownership, placemaking and enjoyment of the physical environments in which L2D operates.
  • Safe Spaces: L2D’s building blocks are all underpinned by Safe Spaces. L2D aims to drive a clearly definedmall strategy that ensures the mall environments hold the highest standard of safety and security for tenantsand shoppers. L2D has been affirmed by SAFE Shopping Centres, a Global certification and advisorycompany, as the first responsible owner in Africa to achieve international certification following a Covid-19assessment, taking the extra steps to ensure duty of care for tenants and shoppers.

Liberty Two Degrees joins the SA Plastics Pact, becoming the first landlord to support the implementation of solutions that enable a circular

Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) a precinct focused, retail-centered REIT, through its GoodSpaces strategic building block that aims to create spaces that are agile, adaptable and aligned to the globalSustainable Development Goals, remains committed to actively transform the retail landscape in a responsible andsustainable way, ensuring that its impact on the natural environment is reduced.

This requires L2D to push the boundaries of business as usual. In doing so, L2D has become a supporting member of the SA Plastics Pact and the first participating landlord to work towards a common vision for a circular economy for plastics. This includes tackling plastics waste and pollution at its source, with improved economic, environmental and societal outcomes overall.

L2D Chief Executive Amelia Beattie comments “We have made bold commitments and continue to implement initiatives to ensure that our malls reset, co-create and redefine customer experience responsibly. We are therefore pleased to be a member of the SA Plastics Pact as we further commit to engage in more sustainable methods that encourage the transformation of mounting plastic waste to other useful forms that enable our positive impact on the natural environment”.

The SA Plastics Pact is the first Plastics Pact on the African continent and joins Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network. South Africa joins a growing number of countries around the world to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic. Benefiting from innovation at the global level, the SA Plastics Pact has the autonomy to fashion solutions that work specifically for the South African context.

To tackle plastic waste and pollution, in January 2020, L2D implemented a policy across all its malls to encourage tenants to eliminate the sale of single-use plastic bags. A separate marketing campaign was conducted to educate shoppers around the use of plastics and encourage shoppers to purchase and use re-usable shopping bags. The conversation around the use of plastic products is gaining momentum, and brands are being called upon to make changes. A behavioural change in consumers is becoming more evident as more people start opting out of the excessive use of plastic.

“As a member of the S.A. Plastics Pact, L2D supports the initiative with an emphasis on the “reduce” pillar of the “reduce-re-use and recycle” mantra that has become synonymous with sustainability. The plastics economy needs to fundamentally re-think the way plastic is produced, used and re-used. The SA Plastic Pact aims to guide a circular economy for the plastics industry.”

“The question is not whether a world without plastic pollution is possible, but what we will do together to make it happen?” – SA Plastics Pact.

Brian Unsted, Asset Management Executive at L2D and chair-elect of the GBCSA for 2021, who is responsible for sustainability, concludes “The concept of reduce, reuse, recycle is an important part of sustainable living as it helps cut down on the amount of waste, however this alone will not solve the issue. It is imperative that we play an active role in tackling the issue at its source. Our partnership with SA Plastics Pact will see us drive this objective in the retail space”.

Growthpoint raises R4.3 billion equity capital through oversubscribed placement

Growthpoint Properties this morning announced that it successfully closed its sizeable R4.3bn equity raise, which opened yesterday afternoon. The placement was 2.74 times oversubscribed.

The company initially sought to raise R4bn which it increased in response to the strong demand for new Growthpoint shares.

Norbert Sasse, Group CEO of Growthpoint Properties, says, “We’re extremely pleased with the success of our accelerated bookbuild, which enjoyed robust demand particularly from offshore. Local support totalled 57% of the capital raise, with the balance coming from noteworthy international interest. It is encouraging to receive strong support from so many local and global investment institutions.”

With the capital raised in this bookbuild Growthpoint will reduce leverage and maintain balance sheet strength to support operating flexibility and undertake certain development and investment activities. This balance sheet strength will position the company well for growth opportunities that may arise in the future.

Proceeds raised from the bookbuild will in part be used to repay the debt from Growthpoint’s subscription and partial cash offer for shares in Capital & Regional in December 2019.

The capital raise is part of Growthpoint’s larger capital plan which includes cost and capital expenditure savings, partial retention of earnings through the Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) and dividend pay-out ratio of at least 75% of distributable income, which is compliant with SA REIT legislation. It also includes a non-core asset disposal programme of R1bn to R1.5bn in the current financial year.

As a result of the R4.3bn placement, Growthpoint’s loan to value (LTV) ratio, which was 43.9% at 30 June 2020, will decrease to approximately 41.5% on a pro-forma basis. Growthpoint continues to enjoy comfortable debt covenant headroom, with its strictest LTV covenant being 55%. At end-October, Growthpoint had R5.4bn of liquidity available in committed undrawn facilities and cash prior to this capital raise.

The 358,333,333 new Growthpoint shares were priced at R12.00 per share, which represents a 6.3% premium to the pre-launch 30 business day volume weighted average share price, adjusted for any cum dividend portion, of ZAR11.29 per share as at market close on 11 November 2020.

Growthpoint creates space to thrive with innovative and sustainable property solutions. It is South Africa’s largest primary JSE-listed REIT and is invested in real estate and communities across Africa, Australia, the UK and Eastern Europe.

Equites concludes R1.8 billion development agreement with Hermes in the UK

Equites Property Fund (“Equites”), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Equites International Ltd, has concluded an agreement with Hermes Parcelnet Limited (“Hermes”), to develop an £85 million (R1.8 billion) distribution centre in a prime location in the UK.

Hermes, an associate of Hermes Europe GmbH which is based in Germany, specialises in parcel delivery and courier services. It delivers more than 240 million parcels a year on behalf of 40% of the UK’s top 100 retailers, including Next Directory, ASOS, Tesco, John Lewis, Debenhams and Arcadia Group

The agreement provides that Equites Newlands Group Limited (“ENGL”), a company in which Equites International Ltd owns 60% of the shares with Newlands Property Development LLP (“Newlands”) owning the remaining 40%, will act as the developer of the property.

Upon completion, the modern distribution facility will be wholly-owned by Equites and will be let to Hermes on a 20-year, triple net, fully repairing and insuring lease. The lease will afford Equites with more than R80 million in annual rental income, solidifying Equites’ robust and predictable cash flow profile. The property is in the well-established Hoyland Common in South Yorkshire, which affords excellent road links, and is strategically located immediately adjacent to the J36, M1 road networks providing excellent access to the national motorway network.

The development will also serve as the latest “super-hub” for Hermes and will handle 1.3 million parcels a day, making it the largest of its kind in Europe and could create more than 1,300 jobs. Furthermore, compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles will be based at the hub and there will be provision for electric cars, which is in line with Equites’ focus on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) initiatives.

The property is expected to be 31,570 square metres in size and will be situated on an overall land area of 18.5 hectares, which translates into a low site coverage ratio of 16%. The facility will provide the tenant with a newly constructed, high specification, steel portal frame distribution warehouse with 163 dock-level loading doors and four level-access loading doors.

Andrea Taverna-Turisan, the CEO of Equites, commented:

“This development agreement is an exciting opportunity for Equites, as it is the first signed development deal to arise from the company’s strategic partnership with Newlands and is consistent with Equites’ UK investment strategy of curating a high-quality logistics portfolio, which promotes strong total returns in the medium to long term.We are also especially pleased to welcome Hermes as a long-term tenant, which is one of Europe’s largest and most successful parcel delivery businesses.”

An Inside Look into Liberty Two Degrees’ Mall Campaign #Create Tomorrow

There is no greater gift than the gift of kindness and generosity, and today, more than ever, vulnerable communities need our support – Amelia Beattie

The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) cannot be denied. It has had overwhelming effects on the country’s socio-economic landscape and the call for solidarity with those left vulnerable during this unprecedented time has been heard by Real Estate REIT, Liberty Two Degrees (L2D).

As part of the drive to help restart the economy, and rebuild tomorrow for South Africans by paying it forward, L2D has launched an impact campaign called #CreateTomorrow, across its iconic retail portfolio. L2D’s retail portfolio consists of stakes in Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Liberty Midlands Mall and Liberty Promenade, co-owned alongside Liberty Group Limited, and Pareto Limited for the case of Sandton City.

The communities served by the nationwide shopping centres are at the very heart of the #CreateTomorrow campaign and it serves to support them through enriching and impactful initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and calls on us all to be custodians of this new chapter and unite in building tomorrow, together.

Under the #CreateTomorrow banner, the co-owners of these shopping centres have committed to donating 50% of all shopping centre parking revenue to the OnePeople Fund, an initiative which provides food to vulnerable communities nationwide. Amelia Beattie, Chief Executive of L2D comments on the #CreateTomorrow campaign:

There is no greater gift than the gift of kindness and generosity, and today, more than ever, vulnerable communities need our support. If there is one lesson we have learnt from this unprecedented chapter, is that one’s fate can change in a second, and one act of generosity today, no matter how small, can shape someone’s tomorrow. As we adjust to our new normal and consider how we can be that force for change, starting small is sometimes all that’s needed.

More so, each shopping centre co-owned by L2D has also embarked on individual impact initiatives within their respective regions.

Sandton City has partnered with the Rays of Hope charity to provide work for unemployed members of the Alexandra community, while also conducting a donation drive for winter called #WarmUpAlex and by donating funds to feed 250 families in the community. It has also partnered with SA Fashion Week to sell designer masks, in solidarity with the fashion industry, where proceeds go to seamstresses, pattern-makers, designers and fashion students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eastgate Shopping Centre in collaboration with its Farm District has launched the ‘buy one, donate one’ fresh produce box project. For every mixed box of fresh produce bought, one is donated to the centre’s local soup kitchen, adding nutrient value to the meals provided to the organisation on a daily basis.

Liberty Midlands Mall is hosting a collection drive in support of the Pietermaritzburg based charity, the Community Chest, which enhances communities and restores hope amongst them. The donation drive focusses on clothes, non-perishable food and homeware.

Liberty Promenade is uplifting local organisations and schools with outreach programs to the vulnerable in the Mitchells Plein community. Beneficiaries include Heaven’s Shelter House, known for their work with destitute, homeless and abused mothers and their children; Cascade Primary in Tafelsig, the important education institution feeding up to 350 children in their area; and Nehemiah Call Initiative, an important organisation that reaches out to vulnerable youth and adults.

L2D believes in paying it forward, and its #CreateTomorrow campaign is a collective effort to help rebuild one South Africa for all through action and conversation. This collective effort can help, save, and shape tomorrow for someone in need. To join in these efforts, visit your nearest L2D mall and support their impact initiatives.