Agribusiness conglomerate Crookes Brothers — which specialises in sugar, deciduous fruit, bananas and macadamias — is making steady progress in unlocking value from its Renishaw property holdings. Other JSE-listed companies have generated strong returns outside their respective core businesses by redeveloping properties that originally formed part of operating structures. These include chemicals group AECI, sugar giant Tongaat-Hulett, clothing retailer Rex Trueform and industrial group Deneb Investments. Crookes has harnessed sub-optimal agricultural land for redevelopment. In his annual report released last week, Crookes MD Guy Clarke said construction on the 500-unit Renishaw Hills lifestyle estate near Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal, had started in March. To date, 56 of the 61 first-and second-phase units had been sold with buyers set to take occupation from September, Clarke said. "We expect continued strong demand for future phases due to the outstanding quality of the product and c...

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