Grand Parade Investments Lists On JSE
Western Cape-based empowerment investment group Grand Parade Investments Limited (GPI) listed on the main board of the JSE this morning.
Approximately 5 500 GPI shareholders last Saturday gave chairman Hassen Adams their resounding support for GPI’s listing, at a momentous celebration at the GrandWest Casino & Entertainment World in Cape Town.
GPI, which was launched in 1997 with the backing mainly of thousands of community investors, has rapidly grown into a substantial player in the South African tourism, leisure and gaming industry. Initially the empowerment partner in the successful SunWest application for the Cape Metropole casino licence in 1999, it now holds substantial interests all over South Africa – and its portfolio continues to grow. It recently acquired a 23% stake in Real Africa Holdings, in a transaction worth R450-million.
“The reason for listing is the result of a mandate by thousands of GPI shareholders to corporatise their shares, in an environment where formal trading through a fair market can take place,” said Adams.
“There is no immediate need to raise cash through an initial public offering,” he continued, “because GPI has sufficient resources to make further acquisitions in the short term, but should the need arise then such a public offer will be forthcoming.
“The Real Africa transaction has effectively given us the opportunity to use our scrip and some cash to acquire their assets from individuals and institutions. This, together with its existing assets, has allowed GPI to grow from an initial investment of R28-million to a market capitalisation of R2,5-billion.
“While GPI was conceived during the period of empowerment opportunity, it has now graduated to being a major corporate player. GPI will now embrace change by being inclusive and ensure shareholder growth at all times. We believe GPI is well-positioned to do this. GPI has seen thousands of its initial shareholders progress to a new corporate listed environment, with an opportunity to participate in continued growth and annuity income from annual dividends,” said Adams.
Apart from growing GPI’s assets for its shareholders, many of whom are ordinary people who for the first time have a platform from which to enter the corporate environment, GPI also aims to foster human capacity and skills.
Said Adams: “We aim to develop the best operational and management skills in this sector. We believe that it is through solid investment now in the finest people and assets, that Grand Parade Investments’ shareholders will reap the highest dividends – both in financial and human terms – in the long term.”
For Adams, the listing will be a significant step forward in GPI’s plans to become a major player in the tourism, leisure and gaming industry in both South Africa and the rest of the African continent.
“GPI has come a very long way since its inception 11 years ago as the empowerment partner to the SunWest casino application. It now holds valuable interests in operations all over the country and has become a fully-fledged, inclusive national company in its own right. We are very proud to be taking the next logical step in GPI’s development: listing on the JSE.”