Botswana Stock Exchange listed diversified real estate company, Letlole La Rona Limited (“LLR” or “the Company”), a premier variable rate loan stock company whose existing property portfolio comprises of industrial, retail, residential and commercial office space, today officially launched its “Go-to-Africa” strategy at a gala event held in Gaborone.
Khuto Balosang, Lead Independent Director of LLR, who presided over proceedings at the gala event, commented: “There has never been such an opportune time for African economies to adopt strategies that will build resiliency, allowing for flexibility against stressors that protects economic and social gain and facilitate economic transformation and sustainable employment.”
Balosang pointed out that LLR was born from similar vision and foresight, when, in 2010, the Company was set up by the Botswana Development Corporation and listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange in 2011 to continue its drive to support financial markets in Botswana, whilst giving Batswana an opportunity to participate in its investments.
“In direct translation, Letlole La Rona means ‘our basket of wealth’. To us, the basket of wealth is symbolical of a collection of principles that nurture true wealth and success. For more than twelve years, we have invested prudently and applied ourselves to transforming spaces that cultivate and connect communities across industrial, leisure, commercial, retail, and residential real estate assets.
“The steadfast commitment from all our staff resulted in Excellence, Agility, Innovation and Integrity becoming the yardsticks with which we measure ourselves and our business partners,” Mr Balosang continued.
Oteng Keabetswe, interim chairman of LLR commented: “As the Board, we see the undersupply of quality industrial sector assets across the African continent as a prevailing opportunity in the short- to medium-term.”
“The support of our stakeholders has always been key to our success as a business, and I wish to thank them tonight for their overwhelming endorsement of the Orbit Africa Logistics transaction, otherwise referred to as OAL, our first investment outside of Botswana,” he said.
In terms of the transaction, Letlole La Rona acquired an initial 30% equity stake in Orbit Africa Logistics, with an option to increase this investment to 50%. OAL is a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Mauritius, owning an industrial asset in a prime industrial node in Nairobi, Kenya.
The co-investment is done alongside a wholly owned subsidiary of London listed Grit Real Estate Investment Group, one of the largest property investors on the African continent and includes the International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank, who is a debt investor in the Orbit facility for a total of US$25 million.
The Orbit facility is situated on a prime industrial site on Mombasa Road, the principal route south of Nairobi center, serving the main industrial node, the port of Mombasa and the industrial town of Athi River and is strategically located 11 kilometers south of the international airport and 9.6 kilometers from the Inland Container Depot.
“We are proud of the fact that Letlole la Rona is woman-led. The development of individuals, companies, and the markets in which we operate have always been part of our business fabric. This pioneering transaction unlocks value for both Grit and Letlole la Rona investors, and importantly, the Botswana communities we serve,” Keabetswe concluded.
The keynote address at the prestigious event was delivered by Honorable Mmusi Kgafela, Minister of Trade and Industry. The Minister urged for international trade complexities to be simplified, and more opportunities provided for businesses to spread innovation and boost employment. He said that aggressive and concise action is needed to stem the decline in foreign investment, which threatens development gains.
“We are actively pursuing strategies for regional cooperation on infrastructure development and integration as a means of creating more active trade routes and expanding market access,” the Minister said, referencing the National E-Commerce Strategy launched in October 2021 to significantly boost economic growth and facilitate achievement of socio-economic growth and raise Botswana’s competitiveness in the global economy.
LLR CEO, Kamogelo Mowaneng commented: “We are a Botswana company which is firmly rooted in Botswana and as we grow, we are expanding and optimising our Botswana Portfolio, as well as diversifying geographically.
“We are therefore looking to integrate Letlole La Rona into the African economy, hence the ‘Go-to-Africa Strategy’. LLR has, over the years, provided its stakeholders with consistent, sustainable returns, and we intend to continue doing just that ‘through value enhancing real estate investments which unlock superior returns for our shareholders’.
“While we are on our mission to integrate our Basket of Wealth into the African Economy, we remain committed to connecting and empowering our communities; after all, Motho ke motho ka batho”.
Mowaneng further elaborated that LLR’s growth is firmly rooted in its environmental, social and governance objectives. She said that the Company will be driving social and environmental change through several initiatives, including the implementation of solar power at key strategic assets, reducing LLR’s carbon footprint through renewable energy solutions. Other initiatives include the retrofitting of lower consumption LED lights across the portfolio as well as the piloting of landscaping projects, making use of drought resistant vegetation, and planting indigenous trees across its industrial and warehouse sites.
LLR sees the undersupply of quality industrial sector assets across the African continent as a prevailing opportunity in the short- to medium-term.