GPI realises its dream by listing on the JSE

Xolile Bhengu

Xolile Bhengu

Leisure, hotel, and gaming sectors company Grand Parade Investments (GPI) listed on the JSE on Friday.

GPI is a Western Cape-based company formed - with the backing of thousands of community investors - as an empowerment partner in the SunWest application for the Cape Metropole casino licence in 1999.

Today the BEE company, with about 14000 shareholders, holds a 26,41percent stake in SunWest, which owns GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, the Table Bay Hotel at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, and a stake in the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

GPI chairman Hassen Adams said the listing was the result of a mandate by thousands of its shareholders to corporatise their shares, in formal trading environment in a fair market.

Adams said investors felt GPI had outgrown its empowerment company image and could be measured among the leaders in the entertainment and leisure industry.

He said the company, which had grown from R28million to a market capitalisation of R2,5billion, with R200million in borrowings, had raised 15percent of the money for listing in cash and the remainder had been issued in script.

"This is a momentous occasion for GPI, for having taken thousands of people from an informal to corporate environment, and giving them a trading platform which they otherwise might not have had access to," said Adams.