WARNING: Limpopo Lipadi Private Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana
We were advised today, 1 July 2019, that Limpopo Lipadi is unable to pay its short term financial obligations, and that respected senior management staff have resigned. This is a significant escalation from the situation where we were advised that a shareholder recapitalisation would secure the company’s financial future and ensure that the game reserve could continue trading. Our view on this investment opportunity has therefore changed, with immediate effect.
Accordingly, we are no longer offering shares in Limpopo Lipadi Private Game Reserve.
Limpopo Lipadi history
The reserve was founded by a property developer who ran fowl of the shareholders, with accusations of over-spending and fraud. The shareholders took legal action, kicked the developer out and took over the debt with the bankers. Instead of appointing a new developer, to complete the project and sell the remaining company/developer shares, the shareholders chose to market and sell their own company shares. Aside from needing company share sales to repay debt, the planned completion of the reserve was also to be funded by the sale of new company shares. But these sales have not happened, despite many years of attempts. A dominant group of European shareholders ensured the appointment of an inexperienced colleague for that role, and have retained this person in the role, despite many years of non-performance. Most successful sales of shares have been that of existing shareholders selling their own shares – most of which have been sold by the bigFIG team. This sale of privately-held shares does not benefit the company, which needs to sell new shares in order to generate much-needed cash and so service debt and complete the reserve. On the contrary, because realised prices have been at a significant discount to the company issue price (for the same class of share, with the same rights and obligations) attempts to sell company shares have been undermined. To compound the problems, usually shareholder levies should cover operational costs, but non-payment of levies by some shareholders resulted in further cashflow shortfalls.
After several recapitalisations that have resulted in a complex balance sheet with layers of debt and hybrid debt/equity structures, the shareholders are currently looking to capitalise all of their debt into equity – and so clean up the balance sheet. This process is currently underway, but along the way many shareholders and non-shareholder debt owners have been bullied and pressurised to forfeit their debt instruments, and receive instead additional shares with little promise of sale and conversion into cash.
We secured exclusive mandates to sell privately-held shares in Limpopo Lipadi, at substantial discounts to the company asking price for new shares. We have sold many such shares, and did so on the strength of assurances by management and the Board that the company will successfully restructure its debt, and sell new shares to generate cash. All shares sold by us were on the basis of full disclosure of the facts by us to our clients. On 1 July 2019 we were advised that Limpopo Lipadi is no longer able to fund its short-term obligations, leading to our decision to advise against further investment.
The recent resignations of the two most senior members of the management team – the respected general and game reserve managers – adds to our concerns about a lack of resource to conduct business, as does a recent ugly encounter with neighbouring indigenous community members during a poorly-managed staff recruitment campaign. These are all signs of a company that is being run for the benefit of a foreign cabal of shareholders who are treading on the rights and dignity of minority shareholders, staff and the local people.
Introduction to Limpopo-Lipadi:
Limpopo Lipadi is a privately owned game reserve in the Tuli Block, Botswana. The unique ownership structure entitles shareholders to have fun without having to deal with the complexities and costs of personally managing their own game reserve. Shareholders get to visit the reserve whenever they choose (this is not timeshare) and enjoy its facilities, including comfortable lodges on the banks of the Limpopo River.
Limpopo Lipadi Game Reserve is owned by Limpopo Lipadi Botswana Investment Ltd (LLBI), a public company registered in Botswana. Shareholders purchase one or more shares in LLBI to enjoy the use of the shareholder game lodge or build their own private lodge, as follows:
Shareholder communal lodges – owners of 1 share (Gold).
Owners of one share (Gold status) have the use of the shareholder game lodges, the reserve and all other communal facilities. This is NOT time-share and there is no limit on time spent in the Reserve, which is subject only to availability and Botswana tourism visa requirements. During their stay on the reserve Gold shareholders have exclusive use of one of seven lodges at River Camp plus shared use of the communal central area with a swimming pool, bar, dining area and free wifi. They also have use of a game-drive vehicle, with or without a guide (self-drive requires the passing of a basic driving and bush skills course). Private vehicles may not be used for game drives. Meals and beverages are either self-catered or fully catered by prior arrangement. Lodges are cleaned and maintained by full time staff. Gold shareholders pay low daily fees for the services described above, and an annual levy.
Private lodge sites – owners of 5 shares (Diamond).
Owners of 5 shares (Diamond status) enjoy exclusive use of a private lodge site via a 99-year lease agreement with LLBI. They are entitled to build and maintain their own private lodge, subject to defined standards and environmental requirements. Diamond shareholders pay an annual levy.
The game reserve
Limpopo lipadi is a private game reserve on the bank of the Limpopo River in the Tuli Block of south-eastern Botswana – a malaria-free area.
At 20 500 hectares (205 km2) and with 14km of Limpopo River frontage, the reserve is large enough to sustain lions, leopards, wild dogs, brown and spotted hyenas, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, bushpigs, hippos, crocodiles, many antelope species and smaller mammals such as aardvarks, African wild cats, civets and honey badgers. Birdlife is varied and prolific.
The reserve enjoys various habitat types and magnificent views from the rocky hills that dot the landscape. There are many shady spots under the huge trees along the forested Limpopo River bank for bird watching, fishing, bush meals and just chilling out. You can also enjoy game viewing from hides and waterholes spaced around the reserve.
The owners view the reserve as a “home away from home” in the African bush and some stay for many weeks at the reserve per year, often with friends and relatives as guests.
Ownership of a share/s in Limpopo Lipadi allows you to have fun, without having to deal with the complexities and costs of personally managing your own game reserve. Owning a share entitles shareholders to visit the reserve whenever they choose, enjoy its facilities, including comfortable lodges on the banks of the Limpopo River).
- Large size – 20 500 ha
- 14 km Limpopo River frontage.
- Malaria free
- Fully fenced, excellent road network, waterholes and viewing hides.
- River Camp, with 7 luxury lodges – more planned.
- Low development and vehicle density.
- Remote, yet easily accessible by road and air.
- International airstrip
- Abundance of wildlife, habitats, historical sites and spectacular scenery.
The communal shareholder lodges
RIVER CAMP is a collection of 7 small lodges stretching for 800 metres along the bank of the Limpopo River, under the shade of massive trees.
There is also a central area with swimming pool, bar, rest room, wifi, dining area and catering facilities. Both the central area and the 7 lodges have electricity (with backup generator) and running hot water.
Each of the 7 lodges is designed to be self-contained for the shareholder and his / her private party of up to 6 people and comprises a living space, with lounge and dining areas, fully equipped kitchen, pantry and utility room, and a fire and braai / barbecue area next to the river. Each bedroom is a separate building, with en-suite facilities and outside showers. All bedrooms have fans and air-conditioning and full-length sliding doors that allow the sounds in but keep the insects and wildlife out.
bigFIG is a real estate and investment company with a difference. We selectively market leisure property investments with a strong conservation underpin, where lucky investors get to enjoy the property, make a real difference and leave a legacy. We only market one property at a time, and only when we have access to special properties at special prices.