Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited, the African focused real estate income group, raised USD 132.1 million in gross proceeds (USD 1.43 per share); the Issue Shares and the Existing Shares will be admitted to a standard listing on the Official List of the London Stock Exchange. With already 214 million shares in issue, Grit – which is already listed in Johannesburg and Mauritius – will apply for 306.4 million shares to be admitted.
As Morning Star reported: “We are delighted to be making our debut on the London Stock Exchange, and we are proud to be the first London listed pan-African real estate group,” Grit Chief Executive Officer Bronwyn Corbett said.
“Grit has achieved another key milestone in its development and we look forward to continuing to work with our new UK based investors in the years to come as we seek to take advantage of the further opportunities for real estate investment assets in pre-selected African countries.”
Key personnel at AXYS that were involved in the deal:
- Oliver Hare – AXYS Corporate Advisory
- Jeremy Steane – AXYS Corporate Advisory
- Michel Guy Rivalland – CEO, AXYS Group
- Melvyn Chung Kai To – AXYS Stockbroking
Interview with Ollie Hare, Managing Partner at AXYS Corporate Advisory
Please tell me about your involvement in the deal?
We were the Lead Transaction Adviser. The partnership between GRIT and AXYS started in 2016 when GRIT was listed in Mauritius, and AXYS their stockbroker. The team and I had spent six months in London, accompanying GRIT on every investor meeting (over 100 meetings!). Due to being partner to GRIT, we advised and together co-ordinated the selection of the relevant accounting, legal and real estate valuation companies.
We helped facilitated the links between the UK and Mauritian service providers, advised on the UK brokers/placing agents, worked closely with the lawyers, accountants, and real estate valuers to produce the Prospectus and all the relevant documents for the LSE Main Board listing, and worked closely with GRIT and placing agents towards setting up investor road show, from the book build process through to final close at end of July.
Why is this a good deal for all involved?
This is a good deal for the following reasons: the complexity of the deal shows the capability of the group. Where it is common to see companies from big exchanges being listed on the LSE, it is the first time that a Mauritian company has been listed on LSE, which is a great thing all round.
It was also a good opportunity for the key personnel of AXYS in Mauritius, Dubai and London that were involved in this challenging project.
What challenges arose? How did you navigate them?
The timing was complex, alongside the fact that the company was already listed in both Johannesburg and Mauritius.
As mentioned, the major challenge was the timing of the listing as it was being done when the company was operating normally. We therefore had various timelines to respect, including the ones in South Africa, in Mauritius, and in London
Moreover, the legal, valuation and accounting standards are very stringent with a Main Board LSE listing and that was challenging.
Why was this particular transaction a positive movement for Mauritius?
GRIT is an example of what the authorities strive for Mauritius within the financial sector: to encourage local companies to go beyond and to also have other solid internationally listed companies to be listed and head quartered (HQ) here in Mauritius.
It also puts Mauritius on the map in London and allows Mauritius to be known as a HQ for doing business in Africa by being one of the Board of Investments’ aim. Further to this, we are now perceived as a solid financial player by global financial experts.
Can you share more about the current M&A scope in your jurisdiction? How has this affected your line of work?
There is a lot of M&A happening in Africa. The next step for Mauritius is to move from being an administration platform to a capital markets platform. If Mauritius wants to develop the financial sector, we have to become the capital market for Africa.
How has corporate law in Mauritius progressed over the years? How has this affected the investment scene?
Over the years the corporate law has greatly improved; I think that the environment in Mauritius is very accommodative for us to be the platform for business. Moreover, our law is based on English law, meaning that it gives confidence for many joint ventures, rather than going directly into African countries. This is further supported on the notion that the Privy Council is the final court of appeal.