Vunani’s property fund seek to boost BBBEE credentials

Vunani Property Investment Fund is (VPIF) looking to revive its black economic empowerment (BEE) credentials which is a curious development given the fact that the company was largely understood as a natural BEE concern.

The JSE listed property fund, VPIF, was spun out of Vunani Limited, a group established in the 1990’s by a collection of black professionals including Ethan Dube. Vunani has grown to become a medium sized financial services firm and is also listed on the JSE.

VPIF announced on Friday that a board decision to search for a suitable BBBEE boosting mechanism at listed level. In a statement released via the JSE news services, VPIF said “a sub-committee was appointed by the board to consider and propose both a suitable BBBEE structure and participants”.

It is anticipated that this structure will be implemented in the second quarter of 2014 once all relevant details and investors have been identified and finalised. Further announcements in this regard will be released as and when required.”

The company restated its commitment to empowerment. “The management and board of VPIF are committed to the transformation and empowerment objectives of South Africa and have expended considerable effort in addressing VPIF’s objective of having a meaningful, sustainable and commercially driven black economic empowerment shareholding at the listed level.”

This BBBEE resolution comes shortly after VPIF announced that its asset management company is to change hands. This move is likely to further dilute VPIF’s BBBEE standing and disadvantage the company in the huge public sector market. VPIF asset management company, a third party service provider, has been controlled by Vunani. A proposal posted in November 2013 seek to sell the asset management concern to Texton Property Investments. Texton was described as representing “a consortium of investors led by Angelique de Rauville, the Managing Director of Handful of Keys Proprietary Limited. “Until April this year, she (De Rauville) was employed by the Investec Group and headed up Investec’s property investments business for 10 years for both the South African and United Kingdom operations.”

Texton shareholding was listed as such:  100% Cozifor Proprietary Limited.

Shareholders of Cozifor Proprietary Limited are as follows:

  • 25% Handful of Keys Proprietary Limited
  • 20% Investec Bank Limited
  • 17% Ludlow Trust (RF Kane)
  • 15% JA Legh
  • 15% Nooitgedacht Familie Trust
  • 5% N&G Trust
  • 3% M de Lange

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