The proposed sale or auction of The Villa ‘tombstone’ mall in terms of a proposed business rescue plan for the developer of the derelict half-built shopping centre in Pretoria’s eastern suburbs has been thrown into disarray, reports Moneyweb.

On Thursday the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) advised George Nell, business rescue practitioner for Thumos Properties 1, that the CIPC compliance notice issued to the Nova Property Group in July 2022 expressly prohibits Nova from disposing of any immovable properties under its control.

Cuma Zwane, a senior investigator at CIPC, said in correspondence to Nell on Thursday that it has come to the CIPC’s attention that Nell’s business rescue plan includes the possibility of placing The Villa, a property under control of Nova PropGrow Group Holdings (Nova), under the hammer or finding a suitable buyer. 

Nova said in August 2022 it believed the CIPC’s compliance notice banning the group from selling any more properties was flawed and that it would take it on review.

Thumos Properties 1 was the developer of The Villa, which was promoted and marketed by Sharemax as a property syndication scheme.

Nova is the Sharemax rescue vehicle that took ownership of all the former Sharemax properties and, in terms of a Companies Act Section 311 Schemes of Arrangement, was explicitly tasked to repay investors within 10 years.

This period expired in January 2022 without investors being repaid. Moneyweb says its calculations previously revealed that since 2012 Nova has since sold 19 of the 28 unencumbered investment properties it inherited from Sharemax.

Since 2017 alone, Nova has sold 10 shopping centres for about R360m – of which only R110m was returned to investors.

Full Moneyweb report