Manulife has partnered ESR Cayman and PGGM to launch a new core joint venture to hold logistics assets in China.

The venture has acquired four logistics properties from Redwood China Logistics Fund (RCLF) for approximately RMB1.7bn (€210m).

The portfolio consisting of more than two million square feet of net rentable area is located in four cities - Guangzhou, Kunshan, Wuxi and Dongguan.

PGGM has been an investor in the RCLF fund since it was launched in 2012.

This transaction marks Manulife’s first standalone industrial investment in China. It is also the first time that it has invested with ESR.

IPE Real Assets understands that it is a closed-ended fund, However, it would potentially acquire more assets when the opportunity arises.

“Industrial properties continue to be a favourable asset type to us globally given its defensive nature and strong growth potential,” said Kenny Lam, senior managing director, head of Asia real estate investments, Manulife.

“These properties represent some of the highest quality locations and asset specifications in ESR’s stabilised portfolio in China, and are a reflection of our very successful and ongoing partnership with PGGM,” said Jeffrey Shen, ESR co-founder and co-CEO, and Charles de Portes, ESR co-founder and president, said in a joint statement.

Thijs Schoenaker, director, private real estate Asia Pacific of PGGM, said: “The disposal of assets is in line with our strategy to realise profits on some of our completed and stabilised China development assets as we continue to build a strong track record in our China investments. “

Shen and de Portes said the new partnership with Manulife offered the potential to grow “this strategic relationship”, not only in China but across other pan-Asian markets in which ESR operated.

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