Tritax, the investment manager of UK shed specialist Tritax Big Box REIT, has said it is exploring the launch of a new UK investment trust focused on investing in the Continental European logistics market through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.
The new investment trust, Tritax EuroBox, will be externally managed by Tritax with a fund management team distinct from Tritax Big Box REIT, and a separate board of independent non-executive directors.
'The rise of online retailing in Europe is one of the most significant drivers of occupier demand for logistics space,' said Nick Preston, fund manager of Tritax EuroBox. 'Online retail sales across Europe are expected to rise 94% from 2016 to 2021, a dynamic which closely resembles how online retail penetration has transformed the UK logistics market in recent years.'
Tritax EuroBox plans to build a diversified portfolio focused on the most established logistics markets, and on major population centres and logistics terminals across core Continental European countries.
It said it had already identified a pipeline of high quality, large scale logistics assets leased to institutional grade tenants and was in advanced negotiations for €600 mln of potential investments out of a wider €1.8 bn pipeline. These assets have been sourced predominately off-market and all from existing relationships, with a focus on standing assets and pre-let forward funded developments.
'Occupier demand for Continental European logistics is in the midst of a major long-term structural increase driven by the growth of e-commerce, technological advancements and the drive for supply-chain optimisation, set against a backdrop of resurgent economic growth across much of Continental Europe,' added Preston.
'Rising demand for modern logistics assets coupled with significant supply shortages in key European markets provides a strong foundation for rental growth. Tritax EuroBox will seek to capitalise on Tritax's specialist knowledge, strong relationships and local insight to secure high quality logistics assets on a largely off-market basis.'
Jefferies International and Kempen & Co have been appointed as joint financial advisers and joint bookrunners in connection with the proposed launch.