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THE Eastern Cape will see its largest ever auctions in early May with two shopping centres coming under the hammer after the collapse of the King Financial Services investment scheme.
The company responsible for the R300million King's Court Centre in Port Elizabeth and the R120million King's Mall in Gonubie, East London, was placed under provisional liquidation on July 21 by the Cape Town high court, Auction Alliance said on Monday.
This followed an investigation by the Financial Services Board.
Liquidators Sanek Trust and Independent Recovery Services were appointed and have been managing the centres.
According to the auctioneers, these are the highest value auctions that have ever taken place in Eastern Cape.
"We have received a flood of enquiries after marketing began over the weekend," Auction Alliance's Mike Bosch said.
Tenants of the malls include Pick n Pay, Clicks, PEP, KFC and various banks.
In Gonubie, the mall's biggest tenant, Götz von Westernhagen, who owns the Spar store and upmarket Deli Barons Select, said the sale of the mall would have no effect on lease agreements.
"We are selling both shopping centres with all the leases fully in place," auctioneer Rael Levitt of Auction Alliance said.
"Tenants are secure and the sale of the centres will give clarity, finality and direction, with new owners taking over within the next month."
King's Mall in Gonubie opened in 2007 and has 44 retail shops, 745 parking bays and 332 storage units.
"Despite a 40percent vacancy factor the centre still produces an annual income of over R9million a year and thus listed funds are interested in acquiring this income in a low interest rate environment," Bosch said.
The King's Court Shopping Centre in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, has a retail component of almost 14000 square metres - with 392 storage units and a gross income of over R10million. - Sapa