Lushaka Investments | Mercantile Bank structures R600m financing deal for Central Square mixed use development in Sandton
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Mercantile Bank structures R600m financing deal for Central Square mixed use development in Sandton

18 Sep Mercantile Bank structures R600m financing deal for Central Square mixed use development in Sandton

Mercantile Bank, a business bank inspired by entrepreneurs, has signed its single biggest lending transaction in its 50 year history.

A R600­million loan was granted to a local property development company, Lushaka Investments. The Central Square will be the biggest mixed­use, high­end, apartment block development in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Karl Kumbier, CEO at Mercantile Bank says no other second tier bank in South Africa would have been able to fund a transaction of this nature and size. “We are a small bank, in South Africa, but with big bank capabilities, therefore we were able to put together a sophisticated property development transaction in a very short period of time,” he says. “This is the type of tailored financing solution that typically only one of the big local banks would consider taking on.”

Mercantile Bank was instrumental in structuring the overall financing solution to ensure that Lushaka Investments secured the total R600­million required to complete the property development. The size of Mercantile’s balance sheet and its prudent credit policies recommend the bank to fund R300­million of the R600­million needed. The remaining half was funded through a partnership within the Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) group. CGD is the largest bank in Portugal and a global financial services group, with a presence in 4 continents and 23 countries.

Kumbier says that Mercantile Bank doesn’t view entrepreneurs as a source of risk, as more traditional banks may do, and this is why it felt comfortable partnering with Sergio Aquino, CEO of Lushaka Investments, to tailor an innovative financing solution. “Lushaka has been a long­ standing client of Mercantile Bank and we consider our involvement with the group as a long term business partnership. In fact, this transaction is symbolic of what we do for our clients, as our sole purpose in life is to grow entrepreneurs through aligned partnerships” he says.

Sergio Aquino commended Mercantile Bank for its participation in this project. “We’ve always had a strong relationship with Mercantile Bank and the team created a highly innovative approach to fund our development. The Central Square project will be the biggest mixed­use development in Sandton and is expected to be completed in 2017” Aquino says.

Kumbier adds that the deal is also the largest transaction that the bank has completed as part of its ANSAMO (Angola, South Africa and Mozambique) initiative which seeks to facilitate increased trade between these key geographies.

This cooperation offers one point of contact across three geographies as well as a range of products and solutions, including a relationship executive in­country, and seeks to grow and capture business between these key African economies.

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