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GFH announces sale of prime UK logistics park for $123m

April 25, 2021
real estate

GFH Financial Group has announced that its UK subsidiary, Roebuck Asset Management has concluded an off-market sale of Accolade Park to Tritax Big Box REIT for $123 million.

Accolade Park is a prime logistics centre in the UK comprising 875,000 sq ft located in Avonmouth which is the principal logistics and manufacturing area for the South West of the country, centred around the Port of Bristol.

The sale marks the end of an extremely successful hold period for Roebuck, which had acquired the asset for $84 million in May 2017 on behalf of a consortium of institutional Korean investors.

The robust income and significant value increase provided the investors with a post-tax IRR of 20%+, well in advance of the target business plan for such a core asset.

During the hold period, Roebuck has completed a number of acquisitions with Korean & other Asian institutional investors investing into mainly mission critical logistics assets across Europe.

These include Tesco’s Avonmouth Distribution Centre, in the UK, which they acquired for $102 million, GP Logistics Centre in Spain, which they acquired for $96 million and Amazon’s Fulfilment Centre in Prague, Czech Republic, which was bought for $165 million in 2019 and the Amazon Last Mile three assets portfolio in Spain for $100 million in 2020.

GFH said it had last December acquired a majority stake in Roebuck, which continues to operate independently, including its investments in these strategic assets.

With the group’s backing, Roebuck is set to execute on significant growth plans for 2021.

Together, GFH and Roebuck are working on over €1 billion of new third party mandates. Importantly Roebuck is using its local market expertise and significant track record to raise a European Logistics focused fund in the Core + sector, which is to be launched in late 2021 and made available to Roebuck’s and GFH’s investor base.

Commenting on the deal, Nael Mustafa, Board Member at Roebuck Asset Management and Co- Chief Investment Officer at GFH, said: 'We’re pleased to announce this important exit by Roebuck of one of the prime logistics assets in the portfolio. The strategy to sell Accolade Park is in line with the Roebuck’s plans.'

'Mainly, to acquire core and core plus logistics assets, add value through execution of asset management initiatives and to exit within a medium term. The solid returns achieved on this sale are indicative of the strength of Roebuck and its team are exactly why GFH acquired the business in December 2020, adding significant expertise to our European commercial real estate offering,' noted Mustafa.

'We look forward to announcing new transactions in this space and offering investors the opportunity to benefit from positive trends in the UK and European logistics, a segment of the market showing solid fundamentals and continued prospects for growth,' he added.

Nick Rhodes of Roebuck Asset Management said: 'Our investment in Accolade Park has performed very well over the investment term, delivering significantly above our anticipated investment returns.'

'We acquired the asset in 2017 and along with the asset management initiatives we have undertaken, the market for quality, well let logistics assets has improved exponentially. As a micro location, Avonmouth has also witnessed a period of significant growth, with considerable development in both infrastructure and new warehouse space, to match occupier demand,' noted Rhodes.

'We consider this a critical milestone for Roebuck and confirmation of its abilities in the logistics sector and plan to build on this and our extensive track record to launch our first fund in European logistics in the later part of 2021,' he added.