Frasers’ FLCT Buying UK Logistics Development From Stoford for $124M
Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust has agreed to acquire a logistics project in northwestern England for £101 million ($124 million), marking the Singapore-listed REIT’s fourth industrial investment in the UK.
FLCT is buying the property at Ellesmere Port in the county of Cheshire from Birmingham-based Stoford Properties, which will develop a logistics facility with 667,185 square feet (61,984 square metres) of lettable area on the 14.4 hectare (35.6 acre) site, the trust’s manager said Saturday in a release.
The acquisition will be funded in part from the divestment proceeds of Cross Street Exchange in Singapore, with the balance coming from existing debt facilities. Upon completion of the project in the second half of 2023, FLCT will lease the property to Peugeot Motor Co for a 15-year term to serve as the car maker’s national distribution centre for the United Kingdom.
“The forward funding acquisition presents an excellent opportunity to add a state-of-the-art logistics facility to FLCT’s growing UK logistics and industrial portfolio,” said Robert Wallace, CEO of the trust’s manager.
Former Air Station
The development property is within Hooton Business Park at a decommissioned airfield of the Royal Air Force next to the M53 Motorway, which provides access to Britain’s national expressway network.
The future distribution hub is set to gain from improvements such as the enlargement of the deep-water terminal at Liverpool’s seaport and the ongoing expansion plan at Manchester Airport, said FLCT, which is controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.
The North West logistics and industrial market saw 1.3 million square feet leased in the first quarter of 2022, up 14 percent year-on-year, after a record take-up of more than 5 million square feet in 2021, according to CBRE data cited by FLCT.
The trust is picking up its latest asset at a price equal to the £101 million independent valuation by CBRE, with the consideration working out to roughly £151 ($186) per square foot of lettable space. The 15-year lease to Peugeot, a French brand under Dutch-based automotive giant Stellantis, includes five-yearly, upward-only rent reviews indexed to consumer price growth.
The transaction marks FLCT’s sixth property in the UK and second partnership with industrial specialist Stoford after acquiring a project to be developed into a business park in the British firm’s home patch of the West Midlands. The trust paid £28.3 million for the 1.5 million square foot Worcester Six project in a deal announced last November.
Growing European Portfolio
Aside from its projects with Stoford, FLCT owns the Farnborough and Maxis business parks west of London and a warehouse and business park in the West Midlands. The latter two assets were acquired as part of a $412 million deal in 2021 that also netted three warehouse properties in Germany and another in the Netherlands.
The latest transaction will boost FLCT’s exposure to the UK market to 13 percent of total portfolio value, up from 10.7 percent. Post-acquisition, the portfolio’s weighting by value towards logistics and industrial will increase to 67.1 percent from 66.3 percent.
Elsewhere, FLCT announced this month that it would acquire three newly completed industrial properties near Melbourne from Australia’s Goodman for A$61 million ($42.5 million). That move came just a few months after the trust sold the Cross Street Exchange office and retail development to Hong Kong’s PAG for S$810.8 million ($603 million).
The SGX-listed REIT’s portfolio comprises 102 industrial and commercial properties worth S$6.7 billion ($4.8 billion) across Australia, Germany, Singapore, the UK and the Netherlands.