Oxford Properties Group has made its first investment into the European logistics sector by putting £200m (€228.3m) into GLP’s new dedicated logistics development platform.

The global real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) said it will invest the amount into GLP’s newly launched European Development Partners I (GLP EDP I).

Late last year, following the acquisition of Gazeley, GLP established GLP EDP I, a development venture expected to reach €1.7bn when fully-leveraged and invested. The logistics firm also set up GLP Europe Income Partners I, to be seeded with a €1.7bn portfolio of Gazeley’s operating assets in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

GLP EDP I will facilitate the development of Gazeley’s prime logistics sites across the UK, Germany and France. The fund will have access to Gazeley’s land-bank for construction of some 16m sqft of buildable area.

Oxford, which currently owns and managed 13m sqft logistics portfolio in North America, said the investment is part of its plan to increase its exposure to the logistics sector, which is benefitting from global economic growth and a structural shift towards e-commerce.

Online retailers typically require between two and three times the logistics space of traditional brick-and-mortar retailing and with European logistics infrastructure much earlier in its development than the US and Asia, now is a particularly attractive time to invest, Oxford said.

Paul Brundage, the executive vice president and senior managing director of Oxford’s Europe and Asia Pacific business, said: “Oxford Properties has been looking for a suitable investment in the European logistics sector for some time, and the tightly controlled market makes it difficult to build up a direct platform incrementally.”

Brundage added that the investment into GLP EDP I provides access to a core development portfolio of scale, managed by one of the best fully integrated logistics teams in Europe.

”We will be working alongside some of the very best in the market to build new relationships and strengthen existing partnerships, helping to further our long-term objective to build a greater presence in this sector in the UK and Europe.”