International real estate firm Hines has entered the UK industrial and logistics market through a partnership with industrial developer Chancerygate.

Hines said the 50-50 joint venture will target prime sites across the UK for urban logistics developments to meet the growing demand for last-mile logistics and owner-occupied units.

The partnership has already secured three sites. An initial £100m (€112.3m) has been earmarked for investment, with further funding available as opportunities arise, Hines said.

In recent years Hines, which manages $116.4bn (€100.20bn) assets globally, has embarked on a strategy of diversification in the UK, initially branching out into the retail sector and then into student accommodation—through its aparto brand and operating platform—to complement its prime UK office portfolio.

Ross Blair, a senior managing director and head of Hines UK, said: “While clearly a very competitive market, the e-commerce boom shows no sign of abating and demand for high-quality, well-located warehouse and distribution centres remains strong. The potential to partner with a developer of Chancerygate’s calibre was very appealing and will help us achieve our ambitions in this space.

“The strength of our combined balance sheets and the speed in which we can make decisions will allow us to grow a pipeline quickly. Chancerygate’s business model of considering both freehold sales in addition to the more traditional leasing route also allows us to appeal to a wide occupier audience.”

Chancerygate’s managing director, Richard Bains, said: “We are delighted to be working in a true 50/50 partnership with a counterparty such as Hines, which has repeatedly demonstrated its acumen in timing entry into sectors and geographies at the appropriate time.

“This joint venture will enable us to take Chancerygate to a different level and scope of operation.”