South Africa real estate M&A boosts corporate activity

Though South Africa is on the brink of recession and mergers and acquisition volumes have tumbled, a report by information provider Mergermarker says there have been a string of real estate deals in the first quarter of the year.

There have been a string of merger and acquisitions in the real estate sector in South Africa despite corporate activity as a whole plummeting 60 percent in the last 12 months.

According to a report by New York-based information provider, Mergermarket, so far this year South African listed property company Redefine Income Fund has made a $928 million offer for Apexhi as well as a $118.5 million bid for Madison Property Fund Managers. In addition, Redefine is aiming to take over Ambit Properties, a real estate company that is itself in the process of being acquired by Apexhi for $187 million.

The report concludes South African merger and acquisition activity in the first quarter of the year has been boosted by property. Otherwise, corproate deals are 60 percent down from the first quarter of 2008.

The South African Reserve Bank and the Finance Minister seem to be at odds as to whether the country had in fact hit a recession, the report also noted.