HOOPP Jumps For Europe’s Sheds
The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), one of the world’s largest pension funds, is to develop a European logistics portfolio of more than €1bn in the next five years. As revealed by Property Week (14.06.13), HOOPP has agreed with Verdion – formerly Helios Europe – to fund the development of logistics parks across Europe. The pair will work together exclusively on the continent. The partners will own and develop the 6m sq ft Yorkshire rail logistics project, iPort, in Doncaster, which has an estimated value of around £400m. HOOPP will also gain a stake in Verdion’s Link Project in Germany, which comprises three logistics schemes in Berlin, Leipzig and Ingolstadt, totalling more than 3.7m sq ft and valued at €250m. HOOPP, which has $47.4bn of assets under management globally, has also forward-purchased a 1.2m sq ft scheme in Hanover from Verdion, 643,920 sq ft of which is prelet to German fashion e-tailer Netrada. In addition to this, Verdion has a development pipeline of around 5m sq ft that HOOPP is expected to invest in. Under the agreement Mansford Real Estate, which has backed Verdion since 2010 – when it demerged from Helios Properties – will be bought out and it becomes fully owned and controlled by founder and chief executive Michael Hughes and the company’s directors. Hughes said: “HOOPP is the absolute ideal long-term partner for our company. They already heavily invest in the industrial and logistics sector in North America and have been looking for a suitable partner to expand their exposure to the UK/European logistics market for some time.” Based in London, it has offices in Dusseldorf and Vienna. Its portfolio is valued at around €200m. Industrial property is enjoying the global investment attention. Brookfield bought Gazeley in June; Norges Bank Investment Management entered into a €2.4bn joint venture with Prologis in March; Blackstone has bought £2.5bn of European sheds in the last two years, and Segro formed a joint venture with Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board to grow its European portfolio to £3bn in June. Cushman & Wakefield advised HOOPP; De Morgan & Co and Lakestar Capital advised Verdion.