Speke warehouses acquired for £35m

Industrial investor Warehouse Reit has bought four units totalling 390,000 sq ft on Boulevard Industry Park in Liverpool, as its grows its regional portfolio.

The value of the deal was £35m, reflecting a net initial yield of 5.5%, the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange AIM, where its shares are traded, today.

Boulevard Industry Park in Speke sits adjacent to Jaguar Land Rover’s 300-acre Halewood manufacturing plant and several AstraZeneca and Seqirus pharmaceutical facilities. The park fronts the A561 Speke Boulevard – the main southern gateway into Liverpool, with easy access onto the M57 and M62 motorways, as well as Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport.

The four units Warehouse Reit has acquired range in size from 74,000 sq ft to 163,000 sq ft and are tenanted by three occupiers spanning the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.

The properties generate a net rental income of £2.1m per year, equating to an average rent of £5.31 / sq ft, the statement added.

Warehouse Reit invests in e-commerce urban and last-mile industrial warehouse assets in the UK and said in its statement that the North West is one of the fastest growing regions in the UK, benefitting from population growth and investment into regional infrastructure such as Liverpool 2 – the deepwater terminal at Liverpool Dock – the Mersey Gateway project between Runcorn and Widnes, and the proposed new Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport.

Warehouse Reit raised £45.9m in a share placing last week, to fund its near-term pipeline of acquisitions. The Speke warehouses take the firm’s UK portfolio past 8m sq ft. In December, Warehouse Reit bought two Warrington buildings – one warehouse and one office building – as part of an £18.6m four-asset deal.

Investment consultancy Tilstone Partners advised Warehouse Reit on the Speke deal. Tilstone’s managing director Andrew Bird said: “The North West is one of the UK’s most dynamic regions from both a population and employment perspective, and the significant infrastructure investments made and ongoing is putting the availability of modern, urban warehouse space under severe pressure.

“Despite this, there are several pockets where average rents have yet to catch up with the rest of the market. Having acquired a number of assets at and since its initial public offering, [Warehouse Reit] now benefits from a strong weighting in the region.

“This transaction marks significant progress delivering on the agreed pipeline and we are pleased that the company has now deployed the majority of the equity raised at the recent placing.”

Warehouse Reit has remaining funds of £50m for acquisitions this year and is continuing to scout for opportunities, it said.


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