AXA Investment Managers Completes $875M Logistics Deal

The European asset management giant acquired a 27-asset U.S. portfolio spanning 8 million square feet.

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Europe’s AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets has ramped up its logistics portfolio across the Atlantic by closing on the acquisition of a sprawling 27-asset U.S. portfolio for about $875 million on behalf of its clients. The more than $1 trillion asset management giant picked up the collection of properties through a share purchase of a REIT formerly managed by private equity real estate firm Cabot Properties.

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Cabot will keep a minority stake in the REIT and will continue as day-to-day manager of the portfolio, which spans around 8 million square feet across eight key logistics markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, South Florida and central and southern New Jersey. The properties are all located within major transportation and distribution hubs, according to a statement by the buyer.

The portfolio is about 98 percent leased to 36 tenants and has an average unexpired lease term of 4.8 years. The investment manager noted that it sees strong reversionary rent potential over time given current market rents. Through the deal, AXA IM – Real Assets expands its global logistics portfolio to around 41 million square feet in 10 countries with a total value of $3.5 billion.

Banking on sheds

The asset manager chalked up its last logistics deal of comparable size in August, when AXA IM – Real Assets acquired the Kuki Distribution Centre, a $368 million facility in Tokyo, Japan, as part of a long-term joint venture with ESR. Other recent acquisitions have included properties in Italy and the Netherlands.

Investors continue to pour capital into the global logistics sector as the pandemic accelerates e-commerce growth. Disruptions related to trade wars and lockdowns have also prompted supply chain diversification, creating incremental demand for logistics and industrial space.

Chicago-based Logistics Property Co. LLC just closed a develop-to-core fund with total equity commitments of $1 billion from several global institutional investors. Earlier this month, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust finalized the $358 million purchase of a 13-property industrial portfolio in California, Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and northern New Jersey.

And last month, Blackstone boosted its Chinese logistics presence by about one-third, spending $1.1 billion on a 70 percent interest in a logistics park in Guangzhou.

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