Fortress CEO Steve Brown. Picture: SUPPLIED
Fortress CEO Steve Brown. Picture: SUPPLIED

Fortress Reit has spent R438.2m on share buy-backs since the end of November 2018, the landlord said on Thursday.

Fortress, a former member of the Resilient stable of property companies, saw its shares plunge in 2018 on claims that the group was trading at unrealistic premiums and that the companies’ profits had been artificially inflated.

At the end of 2017, Fortress’s B shares were trading at R42.20. By the end of 2018, they were at R14.16.

The group has taken advantage of the decline by buying back its own stock — a strategy that companies use to boost dividends per share.

Fortress, helmed by CEO Steve Brown, said on Thursday it had repurchased 38.7-million, or 3.5%, of its B shares in issue, at a volume-weighted average price of R11.33.

It said it may repurchase a further 70.5-million, or 6.5%, of its B shares.

Earlier this week, Fortress said the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) must ascertain how short sellers and asset managers deliberately weakened its share price in 2018.

Also on Thursday, Bowler Metcalf said it had spent R18.6m on repurchasing 3.2% of its shares. 

“In the depressed South African business environment, the current Bowler share price, its cash position and availability of stock favours a repurchase of shares,” it said.

“The company is well positioned to fund its planned strategy of growth and sustainability from its current resources and future cash flow.”

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za