Meyer Bergman, on behalf of its third European retail fund, has made its debut last-mile logistics deal with the acquisition of a portfolio of nine properties in northern Italy.

The manager said Meyer Bergman European Retail Partners III has bought the portfolio from private developer Logiman for an undisclosed sum.

The assets include three developed warehouses and six build-to-suit warehouses currently under construction to be completed in 2019. The properties comprise a total of 45,000sqm of space and are located in the Greater Milan region, Piacenza, Brescia, Cremona, Verona and Treviso, near Venice.

Last month, the London-based real estate manager hired three senior members to its team as it planned to broaden its investment strategy to include last-mile logistics.

Marcus Meijer, the CEO of Meyer Bergman, said: “Last-mile logistics is a natural extension of our urban mixed-use investment strategy and provides our investors with exposure to a new type of retail-led asset class at a time of significant change in the industry.

“The pace of growth in European e-commerce is creating strong demand for these assets as brands adopt an omnichannel approach to remain relevant to consumers in today’s competitive markets. We have established a strong pipeline of investment opportunities in supply-constrained markets in Europe.”

Marco Riva, a senior vice president for Southern Europe at Meyer Bergman, said: “This portfolio allows us to establish a position of scale in the fragmented Italian market, where online retailing lags behind other countries in Europe.

“As e-commerce accelerates to grab a growing share of retail sales in Italy, we expect significant demand for modern and high-quality last-mile facilities in close proximity to the major cities, like the ones we have acquired.”