Christo Wiese, South African businessman, is taking steps to increase his property portfolio in the UK. He recently announced to the Stock Exchange in Johannesburg that he is looking to move into offering serviced apartments throughout London. This is alongside the plans for Wiese’s Tradehold group to expand the number of workspace buildings they have. Currently, their Boutique Workplace Company has over 30 business centres across London, which offer a total of 3,500 workstations. They are looking into purchasing further properties throughout London with a plan to transform them into serviced office spaces.
Tradehold have talked about how this is down to being a year into the purchase of Ventia, a central London company offering serviced offices. Following on from this acquisition last year, the operations previously carried out by Ventia were combined with those offered by the Boutique Workplace.
A report by Serviced Apartment News says that companies reluctant to commit to long term leases and rental agreements have helped Boutique Workplace capitalise on what they offer. By offering a range of flexible office solutions for all businesses they have been able to make the most of this.
As a result of this, they are looking to build on what they currently do in London – by offering more serviced office space and looking at the prospect of offering serviced apartments within the local area. It’s UK property business Moorgarth is currently looking to purchase properties that cater to this, with the idea that they will be leased to Boutique Workplace and converted into flexible office space, or used to offer serviced apartment space.
Until recently, the majority of Tradehold’s property assets had been in the UK; however, they recently purchased The Collins Group – 152 buildings, mainly industrial, throughout South Africa. This tipped the balance and now most of their property assets are located in South Africa.
Tradehold seems to be doing well, with their recent assets growing from £319m to £998m, an increase of 213%. This resulted in a revenue increase of 80% - from £28.7m to 51.6m. Overall they saw an increase in profit to £44.3m, a rise of 210% - this includes a fair value adjustment of £27m.
They also saw a rise of 59m shares issued and saw the cost go from 6.5p to 13.8p – increasing by 112%. The future looks bright for Wiese and the Tradehold group, so let’s see what properties they acquire over the coming months.