Quality – in the property portfolio, in the people (both executive and non-executive), in the structure of the company, in disclosure and communication, and in the professional advisory teams and service providers.
Growth – in consistent real growth in unit holders’ income.
To achieve its purpose within the framework of its core values, Acucap invests in prime assets situated in major urban centres, with a bias towards retail property, yet still retaining the character of a diversified fund through investments in top quality office nodes and in large, distribution orientated industrial parks. The portfolio has continued to grow through the acquisition of selected properties offering long-term growth prospects, and also through the development of existing properties which have had unutilised bulk rights, with the emphasis on achieving sustainable growth in core property earnings and in distributions per unit. Vacancies have remained around 2% by income since listing, and Acucap has always enjoyed a long-dated lease expiry profile.
In terms of governance and structure, Acucap has a board controlled by independent non-executive directors. There is no external management company, and the interests of management are strongly aligned with those of unit holders by virtue of their shareholding through a unit purchase trust. Acucap is efficiently managed by a small and focused asset management team, and the company operates with one of the lowest cost-to-income ratios in the property sector. The company has adopted a conservative approach to debt, generally maintaining a gearing ratio of less than 40%, and with the interest rate on at least 70% of all debt funding fixed by way of interest rate swaps.
Acucap has adopted a positive and pro-active approach to Black Economic Empowerment, and has partnered with the Thesele Group as its BEE partner of reference. Thesele’s chairman, Sello Moloko, sits on the Acucap board, and the two companies have developed a productive working relationship. Partnering with like-minded players in the property space has, in fact, characterised Acucap’s approach and continues to yield numerous opportunities for the company.