ARA Asset Management has made one of its single largest investments – taking a majority stake in pan-Asian logistics group, Logos – in its quest to become a major player in the global logistics space.

Macquarie Capital, which has had a stake in Logos since 2014, has sold down its interests to ARA Logistics Partners for an undisclosed sum and exited the company.

Macquarie had a strategic stake but not controlling stake and according to sources, ARA bought additional shares from other shareholders to give it the controlling stake.

ARA has joined Ivanhoe Cambridge and the company’s three founders – Trent Illife, John Marsh and Stephen Hawkins – as shareholders of the second-largest logistics group in Asia Pacific.

Industry sources estimated that the investment by the ARA subsidiary would be worth “in the ballpark of S$500m (€297m) or more”.

ARA declined to comment on the price.

They told IPE Real Assets that when Ivanhoe Cambridge bought a minority stake, believed to be less than 35%, in Logos in 2016, its equity investment was said to be between A$250m and A$300m.

Founded in 2010, Logos now operates in 8 countries in Asia-Pacific, managing equity valued at S$5.6bn (€3.6bn). Its completed assets in 17 unlisted vehicles are valued at S$8.2bn.

A key part of the deal is that ARA injects the management of its Singapore-listed Cache Logistics Trust, which has assets of S$1.3bn, into Logos.

Cache will be rebranded in coming months to align with ARA and Logos’ growth plans.

Moses Song, ARA’s chief investment officer, told IPE Real Assets: “We view Logos as the best-in-class operator with a demonstrable track record.”

Song said Logos had excellent tenants and its relationship with its clients was such that they sought them out for (real estate) solutions when they expanded into new markets.

ARA Group CEO, John Lim, said: “We will be able to offer our investors a comprehensive set of investment vehicles across the risk spectrum to meet their investment needs in the logistics real estate space via the new platform.”

Stephen Hawkins, managing director of Logos Southeast Asia, told IPE Real Assets that, with ARA’s backing, Logos would have a stronger balance sheet, which would be needed as it grew its business.

Hawkins signalled Logos moving into new markets in the region. “One market we will be looking at will be Malaysia,” he said. “And given ARA’s expertise and global platform, the new partner will open up new opportunities to Logos.”

Ivanhoé Cambridge’s senior vice president of Asia-Pacific, George Agethen, said: “As a long-term shareholder of Logos, as well as an investor with Logos in China, India, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia, we are delighted to welcome ARA as a new partner.”