Istithmar World is selling its share in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront shopping and entertainment development in Cape Town as part of an almost Dh5 billion (US$1.36bn) deal.
Growthpoint Properties and the Public Investment Corporation, a state pension-fund management company, have agreed to acquire 100 per cent of the development for 9.17bn rand (Dh4.62bn), it was announced yesterday.
Growthpoint is South Africa's largest publicly traded property investment company.
The Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront is South Africa's largest tourism attraction and draws 21 million visitors annually.
"The V&A Waterfront is a landmark South African property asset," Growthpoint said. "The developed property portfolio boasts a well-established and high-quality portfolio of properties offering attractive rentals, rental escalations and lease expiry profiles."
Istithmar purchased a 37.5 per cent stake in V&A Waterfront in a $1bn joint venture with London & Regional Properties, based in the UK, more than four years ago.
An informed source said in December Istithmar and its partners were looking at a figure of about 10bn rand for the whole development, which has hotels, including a One&Only property, as well as many offices and retail outlets.
"Istithmar World actively manages its extensive international portfolio of assets in order to maximise value. As part of this strategy, the sale of the V&A Waterfront allows us to take advantage of strong market conditions in South Africa and the robust performance of the asset," said Andy Watson, the acting chief executive of Istithmar World.
Estienne De Klerk, the executive director at Growthpoint, said the company had been in talks over the deal for the past six months, adding that the transaction was expected to be finalised by April.
"We are long-term property investors and the asset is only about 63 per cent developed today and there's potentially another 220,000 square metres to develop out," Mr De Klerk said.
"We believe we've paid a very market-related price. We believe that the market is turning."
He said the deal was still subject to the approval of the local competition commission and the exchange control authorities.
Growthpoint tried to purchase the development in 2006 but lost out to Istithmar and the other parties. Istithmar has injected additional capital into the development in recent years.