AEW Europe announces €1 billion logistics funds merger (FR)

Real estate investment manager AEW Europe has announced the merger of its three existing logistics funds, creating a €1 billion pan-European logistics platform. The new LOGISTIS Fund will own one of the largest logistics investment portfolios in Europe.

Christian Delaire, Chief Executive of AEW Europe said: "To succeed in the logistics sector you need critical mass to provide a pan-European offering to occupiers and ensure operational efficiencies throughout the platform. This merger creates a leading brand in logistics and a platform that will allow further growth across Europe."

The logistics market has been undergoing structural change and consolidation in recent years as logistics providers seek to increase market share and geographical coverage. Third party logistics providers and retailers are increasingly seeking to work with fewer partners who can provide facilities across a number of locations and countries.

Following the merger, the combined portfolio of the LOGISTIS Fund will represent 56 grade-A facilities representing 1.6 million m² across Europe. The market value of the portfolio as at December 2011 was €1 billion.

The strategy of the LOGISTIS Fund is to invest in Grade A sustainable logistics platforms in national and metropolitan distribution centers. The Fund will target Western European markets, focusing on France, Germany and the Benelux countries. The Fund will continue to work in partnership with logistics developers and occupiers to provide state of the art logistics facilities.

As part of the merger, new five-year debt facilities have been put in place to fully refinance the existing debt. The Fund will target a loan-to-value ratio of 40%. The LOGISTIS Fund has adopted an efficient structure combining a French OPCI managed by AEW Europe SGP and a Luxembourg company managed by AEW Europe Sarl.

Rob Wilkinson, CIO AEW Europe and Jean Lavieille are responsible for AEW Europe's
logistics team with Rémy Vertupier acting as Portfolio Manager and Luc Bordereau as Head of Fund Operations. The firm's dedicated logistics asset management team is led by Jean-Marie

Jean Lavieille, Deputy CIO of AEW Europe said: "This merger represents the next phase in the evolution of our LOGISTIS platform. The combined portfolio which has been built up over the last 13 years provides a solid base from which to grow this platform and offer greater operational synergies and diversification."

Rémy Vertupier, Portfolio Manager for the LOGISTIS Fund added: "AEW Europe's logistics track record combined with the strong income return provided by the existing portfolio and a European growth strategy will make this new fund an attractive proposition for institutional investors."

Source: Bellier Financial

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