Microsoft to sell $300 million of its land in South Africa

Microsoft has sold off the bulk of its South African land in a bid to sell off some of its Australian assets.

The company’s South African subsidiary, the Microsoft Australia, is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the country’s largest private equity fund, the Paddy Power Group, owns about 40 per cent of it.

But the Redmond, Washington-based company has said it would only sell land in its Adelaide and Melbourne regions.

“This is a very exciting time for Microsoft Australia and for South Africa,” Microsoft Australia chief executive David Pomeroy said in a statement.

“It is a win-win for Microsoft, for the SA government and for our employees.”

The move comes after the government announced it would give Microsoft a $200 million tax break in 2019 and $150 million tax exemption over the next four years, as part of its “Smart Cities” plan.

Mr Pomeroys statement said that the company was looking to sell land for $300m, but added that the sale would only occur if there was “strong demand”.

“This sale does not affect any of our existing investments in Australia,” he said.

“The sale is contingent on the availability of land in SA and the availability and demand for land in our current regions.”‘

A major victory for the South African economy’The move to sell its Australian land comes after Microsoft announced in February it was closing its South Africa operations.

“We are closing our Australian operations because we believe the investments in our portfolio have made it more competitive in the South Africa market,” the company said in its statement at the time.

“Our South African operations will remain open for the benefit of the community.”

But the move has sparked criticism in the country, with the government claiming it was being “politicised” to keep Microsoft open.

“If Microsoft were to close its operations in South Australia, there would be no impact on the local economy,” the South Australian Premier, Mmusi Maimane, said in March.

“South Africa has the lowest unemployment rate in the world, and the highest per capita income.

It is important for all our business and workforce to have a strong presence in South African business.”

Microsoft has been criticised for its decision to shut down its Australian operations.

“South Africans have not been allowed to have any real choice about their local business,” South African Business Council chief executive, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, told the ABC in May.

“They have been told by Microsoft to buy land and they’re buying land and moving out.”

So we have to have that option.

The fact that Microsoft is moving out is not going to solve the problem.”‘

The market is very volatile’Microsoft has previously said it could have closed its Australian business if it had been offered a tax break.

But in February, it said it was looking at other options, including buying land.”

In the short term, we will continue to focus on our portfolio in Australia, and we will work with our stakeholders to ensure the company continues to operate in Australia as well,” it said in February.”

But in the longer term, it would be very important for us to consider our options in other regions.

“The market for our products and services is very dynamic and evolving.”‘

Business as usual’Microsoft said it planned to invest $1 billion in South-East Asia in the coming years.

“Over the next decade, we believe that we can deliver a significant and sustainable return on our investment, while continuing to provide our customers with value for their time and effort,” it added.

We look forward to seeing the continued strong growth of the Australian market.”