Hines has agreed to acquire 20 logistics assets located between Emilia Romagna and Lombardy through the Italian fund HEVF II Italy managed by Prelios SGR on behalf of the Hines European Value Fund 2 (HEVF 2).
The portfolio of 20 logistics assets provides a total of 200,000 square metres of logistics space around Milan, Parma, Reggio Emilia, and Bologna.
Hines said they are strategic, well-established logistic centres that enjoy effective, rapid connections with Italy’s main cities and the rest of Europe.
The transaction involves the acquisition of the real estate portfolio from four different selling companies and the simultaneous 15-year lease of the same portfolio to Snatt Logistica Group, a logistics operator in Italy focusing exclusively on the fashion industry.
Snatt Logistica Group is currently managing the assets and following the transaction will become the tenant.
The off-market investment was completed on behalf of the HEVF 2, which is targeting logistics assets in key locations across Europe. This latest investment adds to HEVF 2’s recent investment in four new industrial and logistics assets in Northern Italy in Bologna, Tortona, Montichiari and Brescia, totalling over 180,000 square metres of class A space. When combined with the Fund’s additional logistics assets across Europe, HEVF 2 now has an aggregate logistics portfolio of over €700m.
Over the last 12 months, Hines has developed a logistics platform of almost 600,000 square metres across Northern Italy with an investment of around €500 million in 2021.
Hines’ focus on the logistics sector in Italy aligns with rapidly growing demand, as demonstrated by the increasing number of international tenants that are settling in Northern Italy – an area that covers 15% of the overall number of square metres currently rented out nationally with a vacancy rate of c2%. The sector is also undergoing significant transformation both in terms of logistics structures themselves and their locations in cities. This means investors are adopting a new approach to logistics assets including their planning, development, and connections to important touchpoints such as shops in town centres.
Hines plans to invest around €1 billion in logistics in Italy by the end of 2022.
“We are pleased to start 2022 with an important investment in the logistics sector that consolidates our presence in the main intersections in Northern Italy. At Hines, we believe in the potential of the logistics sector in Italy and have set an investment target of around €1 billion in 2022.” commented Mario Abbadessa, senior managing director & country head of Hines Italy. “We are proud to collaborate with Snatt Logistica Group, which is an international 3PL logistics leader in the luxury fashion industry, and we are certain that we will be able to develop a shared path for growth, guided by common values, including ESG, which is key to our DNA.”
Paul White, senior managing director and fund manager for HEVF 2 at Hines, commented: “This is an attractive portfolio of assets with a strong, innovative tenant at the forefront of Italy’s fast-growing third-party logistics sector for the fashion industry. We believe that e-commerce will continue to drive long-term demand for high quality logistics facilities in Italy’s northern cities, pushing the value of these investments forwards, while there is also a significant opportunity to enhance the sustainability performance of existing assets here. This is aligned with our ESG objectives as recognised by GRESB, with HEVF 2 achieving the award of Overall Global Sector Leader in the Diversified Office/Retail category for sustainability performance in 2021.”