Griffin Real Estate makes first major investment outside of Poland for first time

Warsaw-based Griffin Real Estate, which proclaims to be the largest privately-owned investor in CEE property with €5bn of assets in Poland, has entered the German logistics market.

Griffin has teamed up with New York-headquartered Madison International Realty, in a JV to develop two build-to-suit properties of around 7,000 m2 and 9,100 m2 with Griffin’s development partner, Panattoni.

This is a new JV with Madison International, which has an office in Germany.

In a statement, the parties said: ‘The two transactions are Griffin Real Estate’s first major acquisitions in Europe outside of Poland, and a second joint project of this leading Polish private equity investment manager with Madison International Realty. The two companies have been working together since January 2020, when they began their strategic partnership in the logistics sector in Poland.’

One property will be constructed in North Rhine Westphalia, 70 km east of Cologne, and with direct link to the A4 and A45 highways, the site is positioned between Amazon’s fulfillment centers in Coblenz, Dortmund and Werne. The other property will be erected 70 km southeast of Lower Saxony’s largest city Hannover and in proximity to Wolfsburg (55 km east) with intersection of important north-south (A7) and west-east (A2) connections.

The projects are planned as build-to-suit investments, developed to Amazon’s requirements in order to accommodate modern logistics’ specific needs. The planned completion date for the first new delivery station is targeted for late 2021 and the second for spring 2022. The lease agreements with Amazon have been signed for 15 years.

‘This venture with the two first acquisitions in Germany is a strategic win for us at Griffin Real Estate and another milestone in our expansion. We are very pleased with our company's entry into the promising German logistics market,’ said Nebil Senman, Griffin’s managing partner.

He added, ‘Having initially being concentrated on the Polish market, we are constantly looking for further attractive opportunities for our international expansion also in markets like Spain and the Netherlands.'

‘Venturing into a new market, especially in times of pandemic, can be challenging, and would not be possible without the reliable support of Madison International Realty. We are delighted that Madison has chosen to work with us again as its investment partner,' added Maciej Dyjas, also a managing partner.

Matthias Cordier, MD at Madison International, explained: ‘We view both deals as an important milestone for our investment strategy in the European logistics sector giving us exposure to what we believe are well-located prime new assets on long leases to Amazon.’

Derek Jacobson, Madison’s co-CIO, added: ‘This venture is fully in line with our strategy of working alongside what we believe are outstanding local partners to leverage opportunities in rapidly-growing sectors and markets and we will seek to continue our successful cooperation with Griffin Real Estate and Panattoni, in order to further expand and capitalize on the opportunities in the European logistic sector.’

Griffin was established in 2006 by Przemyslaw Krych with backing from ADIC and Chelsfield Partners in its first Poland Griffin Property Finance I fund, Griffin High Street, and Griffin Residential.

In 2010, it began a strategic investment partnership with Oaktree Capital Management, a pairing that got extended the following year. In 2013, Dyjas became managing partner after buying into the firm.

Senman, a former Oaktree Capital executive, also became a managing partner in 2014. A landmark investment occurred in 2015 when Griffin teamed up with PIMCO and Oaktree to take a majority stake in Echo Investment, a listed real estate development company paving the way for further expansion.




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