Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Listed property advisory used to be dominated by a handful of service providers, but a new entrant to the market, Tenurey BSM, launched in October 2017 to service listed and unlisted real estate companies, has brought much-needed competition.

Originally, the investment banks provided this kind of service, but this has changed over the past five years, with Java Capital firmly placing itself as a respected and reliable service provider, advising on numerous mergers and acquisitions, rights issues, listings and often acting as a sole bookrunner during capital raises.

Former CEO of JSE-listed Annuity Properties and previous head of property advisory at Investec corporate finance, Panico Theocharides, along with Shaun Stewart (also previously at Investec corporate finance) and Panos Zagaretos (previously a senior manager of investments at the Public Investment Corporation’s property division), have combined their experience to bring specialist advisory and due-diligence skills to their clients through Tenurey BSM.

"After many years of relative stability and predictable growth, the property industry has experienced recent volatility and is facing challenging economic headwinds," said Theocharides. While acquisitions and growth would always be firmly on the radar, an inward focus was now prevalent across the sector.

"Our broad base of competencies has enabled us to work alongside management teams, not only on a transactional basis, but also on a strategic basis to assist in achieving alignment and extracting value."

He said that SA’s listed property was experiencing a lean period, given a weak economy, lagging returns, a decline in corporate activity and increased competition for capital. "Times are tough. The sector has come off and we see many stocks that are trading at massive discounts to net asset value."

At some point the sector used to outperform general equities, cash and bonds.

"Things have changed, but change brings opportunity … we’re likely to see more corporates starting to move properties off balance sheet."