Barings has sold a logitics asset in Beziers, France to grocery retailer Lidl on behalf of its pan-European logistics joint venture (PELV).
Barings said it is the first disposal in France on behalf of PELV since its inception in 2019.
Barings acquired the asset on a forward funding arrangement in autumn 2021 to deliver a 50,409m² Grade A logistics scheme in Béziers. The development is easily accessible to the A9 motorway, crossing France from east to west towards Spain and serving as one of the country’s main logistics corridors, as well as the A75 that connects the scheme to the north towards Clermont-Ferrand and Paris.
Lidl France will take over the forward funding arrangement and carry out significant additional fit-out to match its needs as owner-occupier, works being done by Pitch (Altarea Logistique).
PELV is a joint venture between a U.S. insurance firm and a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund, deploying its capital into diversified (core-plus to value-add) logistics property in prime European markets.
The Béziers disposal is Barings’ latest transaction on behalf of PELV, with the investment manager having recently agreed the forward funding of a core logistics asset at the Omega Business Park in Warrington, England.
Guillaume Bieganski, Managing Director and Head of French Real Estate at Barings, said: “We are disposing of the development to Lidl ahead of plan due to the strength and depth of our network in the investment and occupier markets producing an attractive outcome, despite the challenging economic conditions and with yields moving out. On behalf of both PELV and other European real estate strategies, we are continuing to seek core and value-add assets in prime locations.”
Robert Schneider, Managing Director and PELV Portfolio Manager at Barings said: “This first disposal demonstrates that PELV is outperforming even our original underwriting, reflecting how our local teams and expertise, combined with global research and insights, mean that we are well placed amid the market turbulence. While logistics remains an attractive asset class for PELV and Barings’ other capital sources, we will explore opportunities with an uncompromising approach to location, quality and pricing in our target jurisdictions including France, the UK, Nordics, Spain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.”