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WestProp optimistic over US$30m capital raise initiative subscription



FAST-GROWING local property firm WestProp Holdings is optimistic investors in London and across global markets will subscribe to the company’s US$30 million capital-raising initiative which is expected to close today.

Group chief executive Ken Sharpe told investors attending a capital markets conference in London last week that the company has strong fundamentals to develop bankable projects which will recoup good returns for investors.

Sharpe said the company has several projects on the cards such as Millennium Heights, Pokugara Residential Estate, Millennium Office Park, the Mall of Zimbabwe, Pomona City, Warren Hills Golf Club and Eco-Park Village which require US$30 million in funding through an initial public offering (IPO).

The company plans to list on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange. An IPO occurs when a private company first sells shares of stock to the public. In essence, an IPO means that a company’s ownership is transitioning from private ownership to public ownership.

The world over, stock exchanges have proved to be viable platforms for raising capital for businesses and WestProp sees the VFEX which has been granting several incentives as a better option.

The proposed listing of WestProp Group, a company established in 2007, will be the country’s first IPO since GetBucks listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in 2016.

Last month, the company announced plans to list on the VFEX by way of an IPO in what market analysts said would be a badge of honour for the local bourse which is currently dominated by companies which migrated from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

According to the prospectus, the company is expected to announce the results of the IPO on 26 April before listing two days later with 10% of the preference share offer having been underwritten by Alpha Holdings, the majority shareholder in the company.

Sharpe said his company has plans to lay a billion bricks on the ground in an anticipated multi-billion investment in real estate, which he says is not just business for him, but also a lifestyle.

The two-day conference began last Thursday at the London Stock Exchange and moved to Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in the British capital the following day.

It was organised by Financial Markets Indaba partnered by Bard Santner Markets Inc.

“Significant strides in this regard have been achieved as the vision is bearing fruit as evidenced through the developments at Pomona City, Millennium Heights and Pokugara Residential Estate with future flag ship developments of the Mall of Zimbabwe and The Hills Lifestyle Estate adding on to this impetus of growing an asset value of US$5 billion within the next 27 years,” Sharpe said.

“Our Company’s business model is premised around fulfilling the needs of customers through the role of master planner, financier and developer of appropriately designed, sustainably built residential and commercial properties within the Greater Harare Area.

“As an investor you have an opportunity to partner with WestProp on this journey towards a better tomorrow; to buy shares, secure your money and get a solid return on investment in USD. By participating in the IPO, you can get your share in our success and own part of our exciting world-class property portfolio.”

The group’s revenue, according to the company’s financials presented at the Capital Markets Conference, grew from 2020 to 2022 by US$19 696 223 which is 597%. This, according to Sharpe, was mainly due to the increase in number of projects coupled with aggressive marketing strategies which increased brand awareness in the market.

Net profit excluding extra ordinary income was US$334 649 in 2020, US$5 691 498 in 2021 and US$9 340 523 in 2022, which reflects a 2.691% increase from 2020 to 2022.

“Extraordinary income was mostly due to revaluation of investment property in accordance with the International Accounting Standard (IAS) 40,” Sharpe said.

WestProp has already established notable projects in and around Harare such as the Mbudzi People’s Market, development of the Gunhill residential estate and Pokugara cluster houses, among others. — STAFF WRITER.

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