Europa Capital has launched a Dutch logistics platform for its latest value-add real estate fund, following similar moves in the UK and Germany.

Dutch Distribution Platform, created in partnership with ARC Real Estate Partners, will target a gross asset value of €150m.

It is the third country-specific logistics platform set up on behalf of Europa Fund VI, following the creation of platforms in the UK and Germany earlier this year, with Seven Dials and Cromwell Property, respectively.

Europa and ARC have worked together before: in 2019 they established a €144m Dutch Urban Light Industrial Platform on behalf of Europa Fund V.

The platform was sold in July as part of a wider sale of Dutch and German logistics and warehouse assets for €270m to Arrow Capital.

The new Dutch logistics platform has a seed portfolio of nine assets covering 847,000sqft of space which have been acquired in separate transactions by Europa Capital and ARC for a total of €65m.

The portfolio is regionally diversified with assets in Oss, Tilburg, Den Bosch, Lelystad, Houten, Asten, Nieuw-Vennep and Almere, and comprises eight fully-let distribution warehouses with a weighted-average lease term of seven years and one forward funding project.

Europa’s sixth value-add fund, which has raised closed to €600m from investors, has a particular focus on light industrial, logistics and living sectors.

Jason Oram, partner and fund manager at Europa Capital, said: “Three years ago we spotted an opportunity to start amassing country-specific platforms of scale in the light-industrial and logistics space through the purchase of multiple single assets and developments.

“In addition to the value created by aggregating these assets, our goal was to drive further value through asset management, stabilising the assets and creating liquid institutional-quality investment portfolios.

“We have already successfully disposed of two of these platforms from our previous fund and intend to continue to build on this strategy through our latest value-add vehicle, as the demand for light-industrial and last-mile logistics assets from institutional investors remains strong.

“The sector has proven its resilience during the pandemic, with strong occupier demand for well-located units continuing to drive rents, as demonstrated by the forward-funding project in Nieuw-Vennep, which has been pre-let three months ahead of practical completion at rates above our original business plan.”

Union Investment acquires Dutch logistics development

Union Investment, meanwhile, has acquired a project to build a logistics property in Veghel, 25km north Eindhoven, via a forward-funding deal.

When constructed in the third quarter of 2022, Van Acht Koel & Vriesopslag will provide about 57,600sqm of rental space.

The purchase is being made for a logistics special fund launched jointly by Union Investment and GARBE Industrial Real Estate last year, and it follows another forward-funding deal of a Dutch logistics assets earlier this year.

“As the EU’s fifth largest economy, the Netherlands has become an important distribution hub in Europe due to its favourable location and first-class air and sea ports,” said Neil Campbell, investment manager at Union Investment.

“Although the logistics location isn’t among the best-known hotspots in the Netherlands, it is experiencing significant growth. Veghel is an established food park which specialises in the production and national and international distribution of foodstuffs. This industry is particularly immune to economic cycles.”

The property is already fully pre-let for 10 years to the Dutch Van Acht Group, a family-run company specialising in the storage of chilled and frozen food.

Union Investment already has 62 logistics properties worth some €2.8bn and the fund manager plans to grow its logistics portfolio to more than €5bn over the “medium term”.

“We have 12 European national markets in our sights for future acquisitions,” said Campbell. “Besides the Netherlands, they include Germany, France, the Scandinavian countries and Poland.”