Des de Beer, director of Resilient Africa Real Estate, identified Nigeria as the country where he believes his group can best replicate its South African retail property model, Vanguard reports.
Resilient, one of South Africa’s largest owners of rural malls, is in a joint venture with Shoprite to build 10 shopping centers in Nigeria. The deal, worth more than $85 million USD, also involves two other South Africa’s big finance and investment organizations, Standard Bank and Group Five, Vanguard reports.
Resilient Africa Real Estate is partly owned by Shoprite and Standard Bank. It was founded with the main objective of carrying on the business of a property development and holding company directly through ownership or lease of property or holding shares of unlisted companies incorporated in African jurisdictions, according to its website.
Nigeria’s has a huge population — 155 million — but only a handful of formal shopping centers, De Beer said. He believes Nigeria offers the promise of better returns than South Africa, where opportunities for new retail developments have become relatively few and far between. “The risk in South Africa is up but the returns are down,” he said, according to Vanguard. “It’s time to explore fresh markets.”
Telecommunications represent the largest South African investment in Nigeria, according to Vanguard.
In 2014, South African President Jacob Zuma encouraged South African businesses to invest in other sectors of the Nigerian economy such as engineering, construction, media, banking, retail, hospitality, oil and gas exploration and services, Vanguard reports.
Two South African companies — Pepkor and Shoprite — plan expansions that would double their stakes in the Nigerian economy.
Clothing and footwear chain Pepkor says it will have 31 stores in Nigeria by July and plans to double its presence in Nigeria with 10 store openings per year through 2018, Vanguard reports. Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd. bought Pepkpor for $5.7 billion in 2014.
Pepkor caters to a low-to-middle-income market, according to the report. Woolworths, a South African retailer that targets wealthier customers, closed three Nigerian stores in 2013 “because of high costs-to-patronage ratio,” Vanguard reports.