Macquarie Goodman partners with UK managed fund in A$1.6 billion acquisition (AU/UK)

Macquarie Goodman has announced that its managed fund Arlington Business Park Partnership ("ABPP") has agreed to purchase a £600 million (approx. €833 million) portfolio of UK business parks by acquiring Akeler Holdings SA ("Akeler"). To facilitate the transaction Macquarie Goodman will pay £49 million (approx. €68 million) to acquire three properties in continental Europe and Akeler's management business.

Mr Gregory Goodman, Group Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Goodman, said: "Last year's acquisition of Arlington has provided us with the funds management platform to pursue acquisitions such as Akeler. The transaction is complimentary to our existing European platform and increases the Group's global funds under management by 5% to A$30 billion. The acquisition adds a substantial A$2.2 billion to the Group's European development pipeline and increases European work in progress 20% to A$1.7 billion, highlighting our position as a leading global business space provider."

Impact on ABPP
The acquisition of Akeler's UK portfolio consolidates ABPP's position as the pre-eminent UK business park fund with 22 assets valued at £1.8 billion (approx. €2.5 billion). Importantly, the acquisition replenishes ABPP's development pipeline which has grown to 8 million ft² with an estimated end value of over £1.8 billion (approx. €2.5 billion).

The properties have been acquired by ABPP at independent valuation and will initially be funded with debt. ABPP will subsequently raise £100 million (approx. €139 million) via a capital raising fully underwritten by Macquarie Goodman.

The Akeler portfolio and business have been acquired from Global Fund 1, LLGP SICAF (a fund managed by Macquarie Global Property Advisers) and Akeler's JV partner Macquarie Bank.

Mr Jeff Pulsford, Chief Executive Officer of Arlington, said: "The acquisition is highly strategic for ABPP presenting a rare opportunity to secure a portfolio of significant scale and quality. A majority of the Akeler assets are in our identified target locations and present excellent opportunities to create value through active management. The built out value of the fund is now in excess of £3.3 billion (approx. €4.5 billion) and the acquisition will enhance our ability to secure pre commitments to development projects."

Mr Mark Creedy of Legal & General, ABPP's major unitholder and investment advisor, commented: "We are very excited about this transaction and the future outlook for ABPP. The acquisition of Akeler's UK portfolio confirms ABPP's position as the leading fund of its kind in the UK and we look forward to the continued expansion of the vehicle through an active development program, underpinned by Arlington's track record of securing development pre commitments."

Akeler's highly regarded management team will be integrated into Macquarie Goodman's existing European platform as part of the transaction. Post the acquisition, Macquarie Goodman will have approximately 400 executives across Europe focussed on providing total solutions to customers and investors.

Mr Pulsford added: "Akeler is a natural fit for us with a similar customer driven focus, a reputation for high quality development and like Arlington, a highly regarded management team. Combining these operations reinforces our market leading position and enhances our growth prospects for the future."

Mr James Cole, Chief Executive Officer of Akeler said, "We are excited to be joining Macquarie Goodman and becoming part of one of the leading global operators in commercial property. It represents a merger of two of the best developers in the UK. Akeler brings an enviable development pipeline and a team that has scored some of the biggest UK development successes in the last few years."

Impact on Macquarie Goodman
Macquarie Goodman has acquired Akeler's three continental European properties for a total purchase price of £32 million (A$79 million). Macquarie Goodman intends to offer these assets to the Arlington European Business Park Fund in ea

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