In its latest close, the flagship industrial fund of the Charter Hall Group has raised A$1.3bn (€802m), bringing the total raised this year to almost A$2.6bn (€1.6bn).

The A$5.8bn Charter Hall Prime Industrial Fund (CPIF) first went to its investors in April, at the height of the first wave of the COVID pandemic, then again in September for fresh capital to fund a number of acquisition opportunities.

Richard Stacker, Charter Hall’s Industrial & Logistics chief executive officer, told IPE Real Assets: “We have new investors from the United States and three sovereign wealth funds from Asia, as well as domestic Australian pension funds which had been under-allocated to industrial.”

Stacker said although CPIF had Canadian institutions who were established investors in the fund, it had been “a long road” to reach out to US investors.

He described the commitment from US investors as a “real endorsement” for Charter Hall, the fund and Australia as a place in which to invest. Other offshore investors came from Europe and the Middle East.

The fund had raised A$1.25bn in the first round and A$1.3bn in the second from existing and 29 new investors, he said.

“We have not raised this level of capital for the fund previously. We were able to do it now because the fund is bigger and has the scale to deploy the capital with Charter Hall’s cross-sector reach into its large tenant customer book. Secondly, industrial is the preferred sector for many investors.

“We ended up with 60% offshore capital in the raisings, which gives the fund’s capital base a split of roughly 55%-45% offshore to domestic. Our aim is to have a 50-50 spread between domestic and offshore investors.”

Stacker said: “We have already drawn about A$660m of that A$2.3bn; we expect we would have drawn close to two-thirds of that by June next year.”

Charter Hall’s Managing Director and group CEO, David Harrison, said: “The industrial and logistics sector continues to benefit from rapid growth in online retailing and the focus on supply chain efficiencies.

“Most institutional investors are significantly underweight to the industrial and logistics sector, and recognise the potential growth and the attractive long-term, resilient returns available.”

Harrison said the capital-raising gave the fund the capacity to grow to in excess of A$8bn while maintaining gearing below its targetted 30% level, cementing its position as Australia’s largest unlisted property fund focussed on the pure-play industrial and logistics sector.

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