Client Spotlight

Ster-Kinekor Selects MRI Software to Manage Lease Portfolio


Ster-Kinekor Theatres is a South African cinema owner, with some 60-65% of the market, boasting some 51 movie complexes in South Africa (more than 400 screens and 64 000 seats) with 154 state-of-the-art 3D cinemas, giving Ster-Kinekor the largest 3D footprint in the territory, as well as five complexes in neighbouring territories.

Being a retail property occupier with numerous leases in prime shopping locations, their lease liability makes up a significant portion of their running cost. Ster-Kinekor had recently restructured its business and, in the process, identified strategic areas for improvement and digitisation. One of these areas was their property portfolio and lease management. For tenants like Ster-Kinekor Theatres, effective portfolio management requires an efficient flow of information between lease administrators and legal and finance areas. With complex lease contracts, this is a challenge for many property occupiers.

MRI’s AI-powered solution for property occupiers enables collaboration across administration, legal, and accounts. Critical lease date alerts, rent payable calculations, and one centralised data source provide a trusted mechanism to manage a real estate portfolio. This comprehensive data source enables the management of day-to-day activities and informs strategic decisions, carrying millions of rands worth of liability with each transaction.

“Our property portfolio is extremely data rich, so we needed a solution designed for lessees to connect various departments and provide the accuracy and efficiency we need. The depth of real estate industry knowledge and real estate software technology leadership offered by MRI sets them apart. It was clear to our team that their responsiveness, knowledge, and professionalism, combined with best-in-class software, would create significant value in the short and long term.”

 – Busisiwe Skosana, Head of Legal Compliance at Ster-Kinekor Theatres

The platform enables a reliable method for analysing the portfolio to identify risks within lease terms – such as insurance, force majeure, and obligations often hidden in the sub-text in landlord leases. With validated lease data to inform decisions and constant landlord negotiations, occupiers gain a decisive advantage in this strategic area of the business. The need for a centralised and fully transparent portfolio is paramount for a modern occupier like Ster-Kinekor, where securing and managing prime retail rental locations is critically important to the business’s long-term success.

Having identified critical improvements to real estate portfolio operations, Ster-Kinekor was committed to properly addressing and resourcing accordingly. They approached MRI Software to understand if they could offer a fit-for-purpose solution that would provide a robust platform to achieve their portfolio objectives.

“We ultimately selected a unique solution no other vendor could offer. The AI-driven power and simplicity of MRI’s occupier platform were unmatched. Our goal was to automate much of the manual work shouldered by a handful of hard-working and committed individuals, freeing them to find precise, strategic insights to work smarter and improve the Ster-Kinekor portfolio value.”

 – Hilton Martin, ICT Executive at Ster-Kinekor Theatres

MRI worked closely to understand their specifications and develop a proof of concept to prove the functionality stacked up. Ster-Kinekor chose to implement MRI Contract Intelligence, which uses machine learning and optical character recognition to quickly and accurately extract critical data, and MRI ProLease, a robust portfolio management platform.

“I would not have believed this was possible before seeing the process first-hand. The machine learning component of MRI Contract Intelligence runs on our leases which then drives MRI’s Prolease lease administration database. The platform brings out the essence of each contract into a structured format, which automatically triggers key date alerts and creates our monthly landlord payment numbers effortlessly. Every word, sentence and clause of every lease across the portfolio is fully searchable using a Google-like interface, allowing all users to act confidently. For a lessee like Ster-Kinekor, adhering to time-bound or operational obligations is critical. Automation is critically important when dealing with an extensive lease portfolio. An added benefit is that our auditors have full access to the audit trail to see calculations driven from the single source of truth – the lease contract.” – Busisiwe Skosana, Head of Legal Compliance at Ster-Kinekor Theatres

MRI’s solutions for property occupiers are utilised globally and across many of South Africa’s leading brands, including Mr Price, Nandos, and Old Mutual, and two of the largest mobile network operators in Africa. MRI is trusted by over 3,500 property occupiers worldwide across finance, retail, aviation, telecoms, logistics, and other sectors. Its comprehensive suite of functionality and features provides an easily accessible resource for lease information and documentation to make it easier for organisations to follow compliance guidelines and property management best practices.

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