Macquarie Asset Management has launched a logistics real estate platform focused on Japan and China with Hong Kong-based developer Unified Industrial (UI).

The investment is being made from Macquarie’s Asia-Pacific opportunistic real estate fund, which raised A$1.1bn (€687m) in June, but it is understood that the partnership will also enable the fund manager to expand its presence in the two markets.

Macquarie is expected to follow a similar approach to investments it made in the past in Goodman Group and Logos, which it has since exited, and to eventually offer investment opportunities sourced by UI to other third-party investors.

James Kemp, head of real estate investments of Asia-Pacific at Macquarie Asset Management, told IPE Real Assets: “This is a typical investment for us. We invest into the business of UI and provide capital for UI sourced real estate opportunities. We take a partnership approach and alongside the UI founders will work to grow the business.”

He added: “This investment aligns with our strategy of partnering with high-quality specialist real estate operators in sectors supported by structural tailwinds. We believe the scale of opportunity in the Japan and China logistics markets is significant.”

Macquarie and UI have already made their first investment, acquiring an asset in Tokyo that has the potential to be redeveloped into a last-mile logistics centre.

Joshua Olsan, founder and principal of UI, said: “We are seeing increasing demand for high-quality logistics real estate assets in both Japan and China.”

Olsan has been developing logistics facilities in Japan for global investors since the early 2000s, before forming UI in 2008 and eventually expanding into China.

“This partnership with Macquarie Asset Management will enable us to source and pursue new opportunities, while adding significant momentum behind the ongoing growth of our business.”