Aquila Capital has launched an open-ended Southern European logistics fund and raised an initial €330m from institutional investors, including the Primonial Capimmo real estate fund.

The manager said the Aquila Capital Southern European Logistics (ACSEL) targets a €1.5m in gross asset value with a maximum debt ratio of 50%.

ACSEL focuses on investments in modern and energy-efficient logistics properties in southern European countries including Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Aquila Capital said the fund has a pipeline of nine newbuilt assets located in Italy, Spain and Portugal

The manager said ACSEL expects to deploy the capital of the first closing within 18 months. The first investment has already been approved, a 115,000sqm logistic site in Azambuja in Lisbon.

Roman Rosslenbroich, CEO and co-founder of Aquila Capital, said: “We see an increasing interest among institutional investors for sustainable real estate assets, including logistics centres.

“The Aquila Capital Southern European Logistics fund provides a response to this demand, focusing on Southern European markets where we see still a lot of opportunities due to the need for modern, large-scale storage space.”

Lars Meisinger, the head of international client advisory and corporate development at Aquila Capital, said: “In recent years, the overall return on logistics has outperformed all other real estate sectors and we expect this to continue. Persistent uncertainty around supply chain disruption is supporting demand for distribution centres thanks to their central role in e-commerce.

“In a post-Covid world, we expect companies continue to seek more and more logistics space to adapt to rapidly evolving consumer trends and make their supply chains more resilient to deal with new disruptions. With its specialist investment capability in logistics, residential and data centres, Aquila Capital is a competent partner for institutional investors to extend their allocation to these important sectors.”

Rolf Zarnekow, the head of real estate at Aquila Capital, said: “The European prime rents for logistics properties are rising faster than they have been in over two decades. This rental growth is mostly concentrated in strategic locations of the major metropolitan areas, while less central big-box locations continue to lag behind, but even there we see rent increases gradually outperforming inflation as scarcity emerges.

”We expect this trend to continue, since take-up is likely to remain at a structurally higher level. While vacancy for excellently located, modern large-scale logistics facilities has been sustainably very low for many years, the overall vacancy rate has also fallen in an increasing number of locations and will therefore support further rental growth.”

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