Stephen Delport. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Stephen Delport. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Greenbay Properties’ CEO Stephen Delport says the company will rebrand itself as Lighthouse Capital and shift its focus to directly held property and away from mainly investing in infrastructure funds and concessions. 

Greenbay is one of the four real-estate companies that are part of the Resilient stable of funds facing allegations of insider trading and market manipulation. The company chose to pay back nearly R10bn in cash to shareholders including two other members of the stable, Resilient and Fortress.

Delport said this would reward these two companies and other shareholders of Greenbay, as the company changes direction to focus on direct property. Previously, most of its portfolio consisted of investments in listed funds, as well as stakes in infrastructure concessions. 

Greenbay grew its dividend per share 17.4% in the year to September 2018, results released on Monday showed, and 25% in the corresponding 2017 and 2016 financial years, which Delport said represented a “phenomenal return” for shareholders.

Greenbay returned €600m (R9.8bn) in capital in the form of two cash tranches to shareholders this year, and will be renamed Lighthouse Capital on Wednesday. After this about 80% of its asset base will  consist of directly held property. 

The cash tranches were the result of the sale of some of its stakes in listed infrastructure businesses and directly held concessions.  

“What was created and listed as Greenbay in 2016 was exceptionally successful. We started as a hybrid which wanted to deliver attractive returns from a mix of assets. Many of these were infrastructure,” Delport said.

“But following the massive return on capital that we have given investors we do not have the balance sheet and scale to pursue those investments. Instead we will focus on delivering market-beating returns from European real estate.” 

Following the restructuring the company’s directly held properties will be two shopping centres in Portugal and one in Slovenia.

 

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority is currently investigating the trades of Greenbay’s shares for insider trading and market manipulation.

Greenbay’s share price had barely recovered since January before falling 54.4% last week following the company’s restructuring. It fell 10.87% to 41c on Monday bringing its total fall for the year to 83.92% . 

Ridwaan Loonat, a property analyst at Nedbank, said Greenbay’s 2018 financial results were “decent” and that growth of 17.4% was in the middle of management's guidance.

Loonat said the property company’s Portuguese assets continued to trade well. 

andersona@businesslive.co.za