SREF appoints industrial fund manager, completes key deals

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (SREF) has signalled its intent to continue to invest in industrial assets after announcing a new hire to its team and the completion of 345,000 ft2 (32,000 m2) of transactions across its portfolio.

Among the latest deals are the acquisition of 117 Hartlebury, a 8,000 m2 freehold site. Since acquisition, a planning application has been submitted for the development of five units, totalling over 27,000 ft2, with an estimated rental value of £200,000 per annum.

The new units will expand SREF’s presence at Hartlebury Trading Estate which is a 1.5 million ft2 industrial estate serving the Midlands consisting of 116 tenants which include multi-nationals and local businesses.

Key hire
Alongside the acquisition of 117 Hartlebury, SREF has appointed Edward Atkin to the investment management team. Atkin joins from CBRE where he held the role of senior surveyor.

At SREF, he will be responsible for helping manage the fund’s industrial portfolio and will work alongside Phil Scott who joined the team last March as an investment manager for SREF’s industrial assets.

Rob Cosslett, interim fund manager of Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, commented: 'The UK industrial sector was the star performer over 2020, and we believe 2021 will see a continuation of this trend.

'Covid-19 has not only fast-forwarded the growth of online retail, but it has also prompted manufacturers and retailers to review their supply chains and hold extra stocks of key items.

'To cater for this growing demand for space we are continuing to develop and refurbish our existing industrial assets, and this includes the recent acquisition of 117 Hartlebury, which significantly expands our presence at this well-performing asset.

'We are also delighted to welcome Edward to our team. He will support the fund as we continue to seek further opportunities to grow the industrial portfolio by recycling the proceeds of the sale of Electra Business Park in Q4 2020 through the redevelopment of existing assets, as well as the acquisition of well-performing and undervalued assets..

SREF said that one of its strategic priorities over the next 12 months is to grow income through initiatives including developing industrial assets on existing sites and maintaining the portfolio’s defensive qualities through asset management.

New investment will focus on sustainable higher yields and opportunities driven by structural change, such as demographic change and the growth of new technology, as well as the growing demand for assets with high sustainability credentials.


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