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SELP acquires €472 million of prime logistics assets in Germany, Poland and France

     
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SELP acquires €472 million of prime logistics assets in Germany, Poland and France

SEGRO announced that SEGRO European Logistics Partnership ('SELP') has exchanged contracts to acquire a portfolio of prime logistics assets and development land in Germany, Poland and France for €472 million (£393 million, based on an exchange rate of £1/€1.20) from two funds, one managed by Tristan Capital Partners (CCPIII) and the other co-managed by Tristan Capital Partners and AEW Europe (EPISO).

Completion is expected in the second quarter of 2014, subject to certain closing conditions. SEGRO holds a 50 per cent stake in SELP and acts as asset, property and development manager for the joint venture.

The portfolio comprises 14 prime, modern logistics assets (10 in Germany, three in Poland and one in France) covering approximately 679,000 sq m of lettable space, including one building under construction, and 51 hectares of development land in Germany.

The purchase price of the completed assets and land is €463 million (£386 million), reflecting a net initial yield on the standing investments of 7.1 per cent and an equivalent yield of 7.0 per cent. The portfolio currently generates €31.6 million (£26.3 million) of contracted annualised net rental income. 80 per cent of the properties in the portfolio by area have been constructed within the last five years, the weighted average lease length (to earlier of break or expiry) is just over six years and the portfolio vacancy rate is 4 per cent.

Amongst the portfolio's tenants are major global logistics providers, including existing SEGRO customers such as Deutsche Post, Nagel Group, DB Schenker and Geodis.

The building under construction totals 13,250 sq m and is located in Leipzig and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2014. SELP will buy the asset on completion for approximately €9 million (£7.5 million) and the vendor will provide a rental guarantee for two years in the event that it is not pre-let by completion.

The acquisition is not subject to financing. However, it is intended that SELP will fund the acquisition, either at or shortly after completion, in line with its stated policy of having a loan to value ratio of approximately 40 per cent. SEGRO's net equity contribution, totalling approximately €142 million (£118 million), will be funded from existing cash resources.

In line with SEGRO's strategy: The acquisition is fully aligned with SEGRO's strategy of expanding its presence in its target Continental European logistics markets in partnership with third party capital. The acquisition is also in line with SELP's investment strategy in terms of location, asset quality, lease terms and expected returns and represents a major step towards delivering the objective of doubling the size of the joint venture over the coming years. On inception, SELP was seeded with €974 million of logistics assets and land. Following this transaction, SELP will contain approximately €1.5 billion of investment assets (based on acquisition cost) across 2.3 million sq m of lettable space as well as 135 hectares of land, of which 22 hectares are already under development.

    Building scale in core markets: The acquisition materially increases SELP's exposure to Germany and creates a good balance between its three largest markets of France, Poland and Germany. On completion of the transaction, Poland will account for 33 per cent of the portfolio by value (from 38 per cent prior to the transaction), France will account for 29 per cent (from 36 per cent), and Germany will account for 30 per cent (from 13 per cent). The remaining portfolio is split between the Czech Republic (3 per cent, from 4 per cent) and Benelux (6 per cent, from 9 per cent).

Germany: 64 per cent of the portfolio by value comprises 10 assets in Germany (within which there is one building under construction). The assets are in established logistics locations, adjacent to main road transport corridors or interchanges, or in close proximity to manufacturing centres, including Hamburg, Leipzig, Berlin and Ingolstadt;

Poland: 21 per cent of the portfolio by value comprises three assets in Poland, on the outskirts of Warsaw, Lodz and Poznan, all established locations for SEGRO; and,

 France: The remaining 15 per cent of the portfolio by value is one asset in France, close to the Port of Marseille, and a key node on the Lille-Paris-Lyon-Marseille central logistics spine. SEGRO is already present in Paris/Ile de France and Lyon.

Commenting on the acquisition, SEGRO's Chief Executive Officer, David Sleath, said: "The off-market acquisition of this significant portfolio, just four months after the creation of SELP, increases the joint venture's position in some of the best logistics markets in Europe by almost 50 per cent. The assets deliver an attractive income yield from modern, flexible buildings and strong covenants and their addition to SELP's existing assets will accelerate its investment strategy. The transaction is in line with our strategic objective to grow the SELP portfolio and marks a further step in our drive to create a leading Continental European logistics platform."

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