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In 1989, a small retail company with big dreams brought its vision to life – that of building a property-owning entity to source sites for the retail sector, and creating a diverse portfolio catering to the industrial and office sectors as well. The company was Foodprop, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Foodworld Group, known at the time as the largest independent retail chain in the Western Cape, and the proprietor of 13 supermarkets and 4 wholesale outlets.

Though starting from humble beginnings, Foodprop wasted no time in establishing a name for itself, acquiring a small tenanted retail property in Cape Town’s Bishop Lavis suburb – a site that it still owns today.

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Following this first procurement, Foodprop continued to grow significantly, building an impressive portfolio through the development and acquisition of properties with long-term sustainable growth potential. Change, as they say, however, is inevitable, and in 2005 the Foodworld Stores chain was sold to Shoprite Checkers.

Despite this evolution, the group maintained its successful momentum by completing its biggest single property development in 2006 – ‘The Claremont’, an exclusive block of 322 apartments and a ground floor retail component worth a staggering R300 million. Selling 70% off plan, the development went on to spark a wave of similar residential ventures on Claremont’s main road, all of which are still visible today.

Not content with achieving this milestone, the group went on to reach even greater heights in 2011 with its acquisition of the highly sought-after KFC franchise license, allowing it to open a chain of stores in South Africa. In a move that saw it return to its original roots, Foodprop opened its first KFC in Bishop Lavis to wide acclaim, and is currently on target of opening 10 stores by 2018.

Once more, the inevitability of change led to an internal restructuring in 2013, following the move to a property partnership with allied businesses. This realignment soon necessitated a name change in order to reflect the group’s broader focus – and subsequently the FPG Group was born. Along with a new name, a new corporate identity was created, and the group was reorganised into clearly defined divisions, encompassing the full spectrum of property services and from fast foods (KFC outlets) to service station convenience centres.

As a result, FPG Property Fund was soon able to broaden its horizons beyond South Africa’s borders, penetrating the UK market by investing in retail properties and by developing and renovating residential properties.

Today FPG Property Fund has expanded to include more than 49 properties, with a primary focus in the retail sector, and exposure to the office, industrial and residential sectors as well. And while no-one can know for certain what the future may hold, one thing is certain – with such a strong foundation on which to build, the FPG Group has nowhere else to go but up.

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