Liberty 2 Degrees (L2D), which is the Liberty Group’s listed property vehicle, has invested R400m in its Midlands Mall to improve the retail offering for a wider range of customers in KwaZulu-Natal.

The mall which is co-owned by L2D and the Liberty Group, caters to the greater Pietermaritzburg area and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Its value has increased from R1.8bn to R2.2bn following the investment. Liberty Midlands Mall opened its doors in 2003 and has been expanded since. The group’s largest mall is Sandton City followed by Eastgate Shopping Centre.

A lifestyle centre made up of retail and leisure components has been added through the latest expansion of Midlands Mall, expanding its total size to a gross lettable area of 78,000m² from 56,000m².

"We are pleased to have completed the development of phase three of Midlands Mall. This development falls within L2D’s broader strategy and is a reflection of our ability to respond and invest appropriately in retail environments to meet customers’ needs," said CEO Amelia Beattie.

L2D and Liberty have been enhancing their assets as they look to achieve better financial results. Having joined the main board of the JSE in December 2016, L2D’s pre-listing forecast was for a dividend per share of 65.07c in its first year.

Yet the company fell far short, managing only 59.22c per share in 2017. It has estimated a paltry 60c per share for its 2018 financial year.