AXA Real Estate has launched a standalone logistics and industrial development platform for Europe.

Baytree Logistics Properties has been started with €100m in committed capital from the insurer-owned fund manager and will run alongside its €1.8bn in existing European logistics investments.

Baytree has been set up in partnership with a team of logistics specialists. Non-executive chairman John Duggan will lead the venture, alongside Jonathan Priestley, Jonathan Fenton-Jones and Rabih Modad.

AXA Real Estate said the new company was part of its wider expansion into real estate development in Europe, where it now has some €8bn in projects.

The fund manager estimates that institutional investors are looking to deploy €7bn into the European logistics market. The sector emerged a top target for investors at the RE-Invest summit in MIPIM, Cannes this week.

Pierre Vaquier, CEO of AXA Real Estate, said Baytree was launched “in direct response” to the demand.

Duggan highlighted the importance of the “undersupply of prime industrial stock in Europe coupled with demand for assets continuing to be bolstered by e-commerce and evolving trends in the supply chain”.

He said: “In recent years speculative development has been non-existent due to the lack of financing. This creates an opportunity for an occupier-driven development team with a flexible approach to structuring transactions.”