The Ardent Companies has completed its inaugural UK investment to acquire two national logistics portfolios plus two other off-market assets, revealing its plan to establish a geographically balanced logistics portfolio. The assets were purchased from the pan-European investor and asset manager M7 Real Estate for €65m (£55.2m), and M7 will continue as asset management partners for the portfolio.
The cash deal includes the acquisition of the 32,814m² Aggregator portfolio with assets in seven locations across Scotland and England, the 87,543m² Monument portfolio with assets in three locations in Scotland and England, as well as two additional off-market deals with M7 for separate assets in Lancaster and Milton Keynes. With the significant geographic spread of the assets, this investment marks a major first step for Ardent UK as it plans to build a national real estate investment platform of high-performing assets in strategic locations across the country with the long-term strategy of doubling the size of the portfolio and actively managing it to enhance performance.\
Richard Benson, Managing Director at Ardent UK commented: “We are pleased to complete our first UK acquisition and to begin building a formidable portfolio of assets for the Fund. The multiple locations and scale of the various assets combined give us initial critical mass for our UK investment platform which we are actively seeking to grow. Our structure and backing meant we were able to move quickly to bring these assets together within a single fund, against stringent deadlines, giving Ardent significant geographical, operational and management opportunities. We welcome the continued relationship with M7 as the team have an excellent understanding of the nuances of the local markets.”
Scott Werbel, Managing Director at Ardent commented: “We are delighted with the UK team’s first acquisition. Similar to our asset class diversification strategy in the US, we are continuing to expand our UK platform by pursuing industrial (Sheds), retail, office and hotel opportunities across the UK and EU.”
John Murnaghan, Head of UK & Ireland, M7 Real Estate said: “We were delighted to work with Ardent UK who has proven to be a strong and skilled partner on these transactions, which is part of our business plan to recycle our logistics portfolio in several funds. It is a credit to the expertise and experience on both sides that we managed to complete the deal quickly, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with the Ardent UK team as asset managers as they grow their portfolio further.”