A UK multi-let industrial and last-mile logistics real estate platform owned by M&G Real Estate and managed by specialist asset management partner M7 Real Estate has added nine assets worth £165m (€192m) to its portfolio.

M&G Real Estate said it has bought the assets located across a number of UK regional towns on behalf of the Project King platform from Patrizia.

This builds on the strategic purchase in 2013 of a portfolio of some 40 units in response to the rapid expansion of online retailing, a portfolio which has been performing strongly since.

The 1.5m sqft acquisition expands the industrial platform to £450m, M&G Real Estate said.

Peter Riley, the head of capital solutions and UK commercial at M&G Real Estate, said the latest deal complements the plan to expand Project King’s portfolio and enhances M&G Real Estate’s existing £3.25bn exposure to a sector which is characterised by ”resilience and outperformance and is ideally positioned to benefit from existing and future structural and macro-economic trends”.

“The fundamentals of the occupier market remain very positive, which should lead to continued rental growth and the sustainable, long-term returns that our client seeks,” Riley said.

Jamie Younger, UK&IE transactions director at Patrizia, said the deal represents the culmination of a six-year strategy to build a portfolio of multi-let industrial properties in solid locations across the UK, with significant value-add potential.

“We were one of the earliest institutions to identify the opportunity to buy into the urban logistics growth story back in 2014, working with specialist operator Caisson.

“As one of the first movers into the sector, we leveraged our knowledge, expertise and data-driven approach to

continually drive value through strategic capex projects. This has enabled us to crystalise strong returns for our investors, though we still see opportunity in the sector,” Younger said.

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