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When Laurence Rapp started looking at offshore expansion opportunities two years ago, he didn’t want to follow the rest of the SA crowd to Eastern Europe. So the CEO of Vukile Property Fund set his sights on Spain. Rapp’s tentative entry into the Iberian Peninsula at the end of 2016 through a R200m investment in little-known Castellana Properties understandably raised a few eyebrows. At the time, the Madrid-based company, founded by SA property entrepreneur Lee Morze, owned only two call centres. Rapp has since put his money where his mouth is. In just more than 12 months, Vukile has established a strong Spanish management team, led by local architect and retail expert Alfonso Brunet, and assembled a portfolio of 13 retail parks across the country worth a substantial R4.3bn. Another acquisition valued at about R1.12bn is likely to be completed in the coming weeks. "We believed we needed to counterbalance our SA portfolio with exposure to a developed market, especially given the poss...

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