- LLR spreads its wings beyond Botswana borders
- Already clinched a multi-million investment deal in Nairobi Kenya
The Projects | Regional Expansion
Letlole La Rona (LLR), the Botswana Stock Exchange listed diversified real estate company and premier variable rate loan stock company whose existing property portfolio comprises industrial, retail, residential and commercial office space, on the 1st of September 2022, officially launched its “Go-to-Africa” strategy.
Mr Khuto Balosang, Lead Independent Director of LLR, who presided over the event said LLR was set up in 2010 by the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) and listed on the BSE 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,” he said.
“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 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 July, 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 centre, serving the main industrial node, the port of Mombasa and the industrial town of Athi River and is strategically located 11 kilometres south of the international airport and 9.6 kilometres 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,” Mr Keabetswe said.
Giving keynote address, Minister of Trade & Industry Honourable Mmusi Kgafela said aggressive and concise action is needed to counter 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, giving reference to 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.
In her remarks Kamogelo Mowaneng, Chief Executive Officer of Letlole La Rona said LLR was a Botswana company which is firmly rooted in Botswana.
“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,” she said.
“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”.
Ms 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.