Barings has completed the sale of a logistics development in France to grocery retailer Lidl on behalf of a US insurer and Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund, for an undisclosed price.

Barings acquired the asset on a forward funding arrangement in autumn 2021 to deliver a 50,409sqm, grade-A logistics scheme in Béziers.

The development is located on the A9 motorway, a logistics corridor running east to west towards Spain. It is also close to the A75, connecting the scheme to the north towards Clermont-Ferrand and Paris.

Lidl France will take over the forward funding arrangement and carry out significant additional fit-out works to match its needs as owner-occupier.

It is Barings’ first sale in France on behalf of its pan-European logistics fund (PELV), which it launched in 2019 with backing from unnamed US and Middle Eastern investors.

The investment manager recently agreed the forward funding of a core logistics asset at the Omega Business Park in Warrington, England.

Guillaume Bieganski, managing director and head of French real estate at Barings, said: “We are disposing of the development to Lidl ahead of plan due to the strength and depth of our network in the investment and occupier markets producing an attractive outcome, despite the challenging economic conditions and with yields moving out. On behalf of both PELV and other European real estate strategies, we are continuing to seek core and value-add assets in prime locations.”

Robert Schneider, managing director and PELV portfolio manager at Barings, added: “This first disposal demonstrates that PELV is outperforming even our original underwriting, reflecting how our local teams and expertise, combined with global research and insights, mean that we are well placed amid the market turbulence.

“While logistics remains an attractive asset class for PELV and Barings’ other capital sources, we will explore opportunities with an uncompromising approach to location, quality and pricing in our target jurisdictions including France, the UK, Nordics, Spain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.”

The development comprises 48,575sqm of warehouse space, 1,834sqm of office space and nearly 300 car parking spaces.

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