Funds managed by Blackstone have acquired a sprawling British logistics portfolio from Prologis for £473 million ($618 million), marking the country’s largest industrial real estate sale on record. The portfolio spans about 4.3 million square feet of buildings along with roughly 31 acres of consented development land in England.
Most of the assets were purchased from Liberty Property Trust when Prologis acquired the REIT in a $13 billion deal that closed this past February. The transaction includes 22 standalone buildings located mainly in the Midlands region as well the South West and North West, while the development land is located in Staffordshire and Widnes.
Prologis, the world’s largest industrial REIT, is a major logistics provider in England, with warehouses and distribution hubs across the country. The assets transferred to Blackstone fall outside the company’s core strategy, which focuses on key distribution locations in the Midlands and the South East of England, along with urban last-mile facilities in London, according to a statement by the NYSE-listed firm.
Shedding non-core assets
The acquisition from Liberty Property Trust involved more than 100 million square feet of logistics projects operating and under development, primarily in cities across the U.S. Reports that Prologis was seeking a sale of the UK assets surfaced in June, and Property Week last month reported that the company was in exclusive talks with Blackstone for the sale.
Blackstone, which has a global real estate portfolio valued at $328 billion, rivals Prologis in the scale of its logistics investments around the world. Last year, the company nearly doubled its industrial portfolio by paying $18.7 billion for a collection of U.S. logistics assets from Singapore-based GLP (formerly Global Logistic Properties). This past August, Blackstone acquired 28 properties totaling nearly 2.2 million square feet across Germany and France from a joint venture of Castlelake LP and Melcombe.
San Francisco-based Prologis owns or has investments in a logistics portfolio of around 976 million square feet across 19 countries, with a customer base of roughly 5,500 tenants. In November of last year, Prologis in partnership with Norges Bank Investment Management agreed to buy a 127-asset U.S. logistics portfolio for nearly $2 billion.