APG, CPP Investments, ESR form US$1bn JV to invest in South Korean logistics real estate

APG, CPP Investments, ESR form US$1bn JV to invest in South Korean logistics real estate

APG, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and ESR Cayman Limited (ESR) have entered into a strategic agreement to establish a new development joint venture, ESR-KS II, with a total equity allocation of US$1 billion, representing an investment capacity to deliver as much as US$2 billion of new development projects.

ESR-KS II is a new development joint venture which will invest in and develop a best-in-class industrial and warehouse logistics portfolio in the Seoul and Busan metropolitan areas, the two markets with the largest populations and highest consumer spending in South Korea.

APG, CPP Investments and ESR have agreed to initial investments in the joint venture in the amounts of US$350 million, US$450 million and US$200 million, respectively. The partners have allocation expansion options that could bring the total equity investment capacity to as much as US$2 billion over time. APG, CPP Investments and ESR will hold 35%, 45% and 20%, respectively, of the total issued shares of the joint venture.

The joint venture marks APG’s fourth development collaboration with ESR, and CPP Investments’ third joint venture with ESR. It is a successor vehicle to a US$1 billion joint venture – which was later upsized to US$1.15 billion – between the three parties that has led to the development of 17 projects totalling 2.2 million sqm of GFA in South Korea.

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“Following the success of our first joint venture with ESR and CPP Investments in Korean logistics, we are delighted to be able to repeat the partnership. This will allow us to capture the next wave of growth and opportunity in a sector that even in these uncertain times, is demonstrating resilience. Throughout our global portfolio we look for investment opportunities that allow us to meet the long term return and sustainability objectives of our pension fund clients. With like-minded partners such as CPP Investments and the local execution expertise of ESR, this new venture is perfectly placed to do just that,” commented Graeme Torre, Head of Real Estate, APG Asset Management Asia.

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“Asia’s consumer sector has been one of our key investment themes. The continued growth of South Korea’s e-commerce market is driving the demand for quality logistics facilities. This new joint venture deepens our longstanding relationship with ESR and APG. It will be key to our growth strategy in the logistics sector globally,” said Jimmy Phua, Head of Asia Real Estate at CPP Investments.

“This extension of our partnership with APG and CPP Investments is a testament to our best-in-class local management team led by Thomas Nam and Jihun Kang and our market leading position in South Korea. Riding on the robustfundamentals of the APAC logistics sector, we will continue our strategy to expand our fund management platform across the region to grow our AUM while delivering solid returns for our capital partners and stakeholders,” added Jeffrey Shen and Stuart Gibson, Co-founders and Co-CEOs of ESR.

The transaction is expected to close before July 2020, subject to relevant regulatory approvals.