EUROPE - Fund manager AEW Europe is to merge three logistics funds into a €1bn pan-European 'super-fund'.

AEW Europe chief executive Christian Delaire said the move would deliver the critical mass necessary to attract potential tenants as third-party logistics firms and retailers shaved down partnerships in a consolidated European logistics market.

Although he did not specify the deal, Delaire's was likely a reference to the merger last year between ProLogis and AMB.

The new fund inherits legal structure from Logistis III, one of its predecessors, a legal structure that combines a French OPCI vehicle and a Luxembourg entity.

Logistis I, with its low level of debt, provided the finance to complete the transaction, while Logistis II came to the deal with an international portfolio of recently completed assets. 

Chief investment officer Rob Wilkinson told IP Real Estate there was "no specific driver" to the timing of the merger.

The decision to merge followed discussions with institutional investors in the fund over his forecast for continued consolidation in the sector.

"By merging the three funds, we have created a platform and brand that is well placed to take advantage of this trend," he said.

The firm said the new fund would add to the 56-asset portfolio, built up over the past 13 years, including prime assets in Western Europe, primarily France, Germany and the Benelux countries.

Although diversification is one of the drivers identified to the merger, 80% of the existing portfolio is located in the French logistics corridor.

Asked about asset attrition from the new fund, Wilkinson said new investments in Germany and Benelux would "re-balance the portfolio over time".

But he did not rule out the disposal of assets that could add no further value to the fund.