Shanghai Zendai, AECI Modderfontein property deal gets green light

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
Artist's impression of the development in Modderfontein, Johannesburg, proposed by Shanghai Zendai Property Artist's impression of the development in Modderfontein, Johannesburg, proposed by Shanghai Zendai Property

The R1 billion Modderfontein land sale deal struck between Chinese Real Estate developer Shanghai Zendai Property and chemicals company AECI (AFE) has been granted approval by the Competition Commission.

With this approval, all conditions precedent to the transaction had now been fulfilled.

The transaction involved the acquisition of about 1 600 ha of land and the buildings thereon, as well as property development business Heartland Properties and investment holding company AECI Real Estate.

The agreement sets out a restraint of trade on AECI not to engage in property development in the Modderfontein area‚ and the commission was concerned that this restraint of trade amounted to market allocation‚ which is a contravention of the Competition Act.

The commission set a condition that the period of restraint of trade be reduced from 10 years to five years. The commission said in a statement on Tuesday that the 10-year restraint period was “too long‚ unjustified and likely to frustrate potential re-entry by AECI into the Modderfontein area”.

The sale of the 1‚600ha of vacant land and buildings worth R1bn was concluded at the end of 2013 and will result in Shanghai Zendai Property developing the land for mixed use‚ which may include residential‚ commercial and retail developments.

Stakeholders who may be affected by the transaction expressed concern about pollution‚ the sale of land to a foreign company and the fact there was no agreement on the building of low-cost housing.

However‚ the commission’s mandate is to ensure the transaction does not adversely affect competition‚ and advised the parties to raise these issues with other government agencies better suited to deal with them.

In terms of public interest‚ the commission found that the acquisition will not result in retrenchments as the land is being bought as a going concern. Shanghai Zendai has also undertaken not to retrench any employees and not to change the terms of conditions of employment.

Shanghai Zendai is an investment company with a market capitalisation of the equivalent of $294m at the end of last year on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

It develops and manages property projects in 12 cities in northern China‚ Shanghai city and Hainan province.


Enter your e-mail address below using Lowercase.

Home in 1 | Leading Supplier to Events, Catering & Hospitality Industry