Martin Slabbert, a co-founder of eastern European real estate groups New Europe Property Investments and Prime Kapital (PK), has been appointed CEO of JSE-listed MAS Real Estate after a shareholder vote on Wednesday.

Slabbert’s business partner at PK, Victor Semionov, will be MAS’s CFO. Their contracts are for three years and they will not receive salaries or director’s fees during their tenure.

The appointment of Slabbert and Semionov is part of a deal that will result in MAS buying PK’s 20%  in an investment joint venture formed by the two companies three years ago for R1.14bn. MAS will then own 100% of the venture, which has assets under management worth €437m (R7.13bn). 

The pair also have a development joint venture which is 40% owned by MAS and 60% by PK.

PK and MAS have had a relationship since 2016. PK has developed shopping centres, which it has sold to MAS, enabling MAS to get exposure to Eastern Europe.

MAS was created in 2008 as an initiative of several large South African property investors and high-net-worth individuals who were keen to diversify their holdings into overseas markets.

Initially MAS invested in Western Europe but in 2016 the company teamed up with PK to give Slabbert and his team access to Eastern Europe.

Slabbert had been successful at Nepi, which under his leadership developed and bought shopping centres and offices in Romania, the second-largest economy in Eastern Europe. Nepi became the largest listed property company in that country.

It later merged with Rockcastle Global Real Estate. Slabbert left and formed PK with Semionov.