The newly launched UK arm of US-based real estate manager The Ardent Companies has invested £55m (€63.7m) to buy 1.4m sqft of logistics assets.

The Ardent Companies UK (Ardent UK) said it has completed its inaugural UK investment to acquire two national logistics portfolios plus two other off-market assets from M7 Real Estate. M7 will continue as asset management partners for the portfolio.

Ardent UK said the deal includes the acquisition of the 353,213sqft Aggregator portfolio with assets in seven locations across Scotland and England, the 942,323sqft Monument portfolio with assets in three locations in Scotland and England, as well as two additional off-market deals with M7 for separate assets in Lancaster and Milton Keynes.

Earlier this month, The Ardent Companies launched its $530m UK business and appointed Richard Benson and Andrew Hilston to lead the new venture as managing directors. At the time, the manager said Ardent UK plans to make direct real estate acquisitions through a newly launched $230m Ardent Strategic Fund I fund and will also seek investments via a $300m debt fund.

Ardent UK said the latest investment marks a major first step for Ardent UK as it plans to build a national real estate investment platform.

In addition to seeking to grow the industrial portfolio, Ardent UK is also actively exploring opportunities in the build-to-rent and office sectors as well as repositioning and redevelopment opportunities in the retail sector, the company said.

Richard Benson, managing director at Ardent UK said: “We are pleased to complete our first UK acquisition and to begin building a formidable portfolio of assets for the fund. The multiple locations and scale of the various assets combined gives us initial critical mass for our UK investment platform which we are actively seeking to grow.”

Scott Werbel, managing director at Ardent, said: “We are delighted with the UK team’s first acquisition. Similar to our asset class diversification strategy in the US, we are continuing to expand our UK platform by pursuing industrial, retail, office and hotel opportunities across the UK and EU.”

John Murnaghan, Head of UK and Ireland at M7 Real Estate, said: “We were delighted to work with Ardent UK who has proven to be a strong and skilled partner on these transactions, which is part of our business plan to recycle our logistics portfolio in several funds.”

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