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Sanlam, Atterbury Acquire 85% Stake in Accra Mall From Actis

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Sanlam Ltd. and Atterbury Investment Holdings Ltd. purchased an 85 percent stake in Ghana’s Accra Mall from emerging-markets investment company Actis LLP as investors seek real-estate assets in sub-Saharan Africa.

The mall houses South African retailers Shoprite Holdings Ltd. and Massmart Holdings Ltd.’s Game as well as Ghanaian brands such as Kiki Clothing and Nallem, Actis said in an e-mailed statement today. Actis managed the development of the mall, which opened in July 2008 and attracts about 135,000 shoppers a week, according to the statement.

Sanlam, South Africa’s biggest life insurance company, is building a sub-Saharan African real estate fund, for which the Accra Mall was the first purchase, Thomas Reilly, managing director of Sanlam Properties, said by phone from Johannesburg. The fund will buy properties in 14 countries in the region, he said.

“Ghana is one of the mandated countries and it was really just a matter of timing,” Reilly said. “Ghana is an important investment destination in terms of commercial properties.”

The remaining 15 percent of the Accra Mall is owned by a minority shareholder in the West African nation, Reilly said, without giving details. The mall is valued at $65 million, he said.

The sale shows “increasing interest in Ghana by foreign investors and also reflects the acute demand for high-quality real-estate assets in sub-Saharan Africa,” according to the statement from Actis.

The development of the shopping center “came at a time when Ghanaians still sourced even basic goods from London and Johannesburg,” David Morley, head of real estate at Actis, said in the statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net; Ekow Dontoh in Accra at edontoh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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