Blackstone Drives Boom In The Purchase Of Logistics Assets

26 January 2015 – Expansión

Investors spent €620 million on logistics assets in 2014, compared with €100 million in 2013 / The total spend on warehouses amounted to more than €500 million for the first time since 2008.

From €100 million to €600 million in twelve months. That was the trajectory of the investment market in industrial and logistics assets in Spain in 2014.

Interest from large international funds and the launch of Socimis drove the volume of investment in the logistics sector through the roof in 2014, in a similar way to shopping centres. From minimal levels in recent years, the figures have increased sixfold.

According to data published by the property consultant JLL, €620 million was invested in logistical and industrial assets in Spain last year. In 2013, this figure was €100 million. “Investment in these types of assets has exceeded €500 million for the first time since 2008”, comments JLL.

The turnaround has been characterised not only by an increase in the number of transactions, but also in their size. Blackstone closed one transaction amounting to more than €60 million, and another for €132.8 million. “Blackstone closed 35% of all the transactions in the market, followed by the Socimis, which accounted for 36% of total volumes”, highlights the report. In just two years, the US investment fund has acquired a portfolio of logistics assets in Spain covering 600,000 square metres.

The listed property companies Axia Real Estate, Merlin Properties, and Lar España purchased logistics properties worth more than €200 million.

Another example of the boom in the sector is that the asset purchases have not been restricted to the major markets, says the consultancy in its report. “Madrid, Guadalajara and Barcelona continue to be the preferred locations for investors, but cities such as Sevilla, Valencia, Zaragoza and others are also in the mix”. The experts at JLL believe that, over the next few years, the funds with a more opportunistic nature will make way for those that have a more conservative profile.

In the case of recruitment, the numbers did increase with respect to the previous year, but not as significantly as the investment data. Nevertheless, demand for large warehouses, especially those that occupy more than 25,000 square metres, has skyrocketed, as companies such as Amazon and the textile groups realise their need to increase their storage capability in the face of increases in online sales.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake