IFA buys stake in Boschendal

In its first acquisition since listing on the JSE in February, IFA Hotels & Resorts will purchase a significant stake in Boschendal Limited, becoming an integral contributor to the landmark Boschendal transformation initiative.The acquisition positions IFA SA to assist with a proposed mixed-use development on Boschendal’s 2,400-hectare estate near Franschhoek in Cape Town.

Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, CEO, IFA SA, and Chairman and Managing Director, IFA Hotels and Resorts said, “IFA SA is pleased to align with an iconic South African brand such as Boschendal and to leverage Boschendal’s prime real estate for development. The acquisition aligns with IFA SA’s strategy to deliver new premier resort and residential developments in South Africa, diversifying from Kwa-Zulu Natal where it owns Zimbali Lodge and holds a 50% stake in the joint venture that developed Zimbali Coastal Resort.”

Future development plans for the Cape Boschendal estate include an upmarket retirement village with 500 individual homes, a boutique hotel with upwards of 120 rooms and a mixed-use development of a shopping centre, offices and apartments.

Clive Venning, CEO, Boschendal, said, “IFA SA’s participation in Boschendal is of critical importance to the future development of the estate. As an established developer of premier leisure hotels and mixed-use resorts, the group will contribute crucial expertise to our development to benefit the company and the surrounding Dwarsriver community. The transformation will also generate jobs and lead to a 30% rise in real wages in the region.”

Boschendal has also pledged 270 hectares of land including 40 hectares for 500 homes, 110 hectares of viable agricultural land and 120 hectares of nature reserve towards the Trust for locals.

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“Land sales of the Founders’ Estates will be launched in 2006 with the balance being released in 2008. The development is delayed at present by rezoning and other regulatory issues. With a heritage site such as this, we must adopt a slower, careful approach to design and planning to ensure the development’s success and minimum disruption to the valley,” Venning added.

In Africa, IFA has major development projects in Zanzibar and Kenya and is currently exploring opportunities in the Indian Ocean and Asia.
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