Blackstone extends Nordic push with €900m logistics play

The New York-based firm has agreed to acquire a 50 percent stake in Finnish logistics property company, Certeum, after putting nearly $3 billion into the Nordic property market earlier this summer.

The Blackstone Group has taken control of Certeum, a Helsinki-based logistics and industrial property investment company, after acquiring a 50 percent stake in the company from Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company.

Varma Mutual, the largest pension insurance company in Finland, co-founded Certeum in 2014 with Sponda, Finland’s state pension fund. Certeum specializes in owning, leasing and developing logistics and industrial properties.

The 122 logistics and industrial properties owned by Certeum are mainly located in the biggest cities in Finland and the value of Certeum’s property assets is €895.6 million.

Blackstone made a huge push into the Nordic real estate market in July when it agreed to acquire a portfolio of Nordic properties for NOK22 billion (€2.48 billion; $2.7 billion) as well as a 34 percent stake in subsidiaries of Norwegian investment management firm Agasti Holdings.

“We have had a long-standing ambition to increase our presence in the Nordics,” commented James Seppala, head of European acquisitions at Blackstone, at the time.

As with the Agasti transaction, the acquisition of Certeum has been made using capital from Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe IV – its latest opportunistic fund for the region that has €5.1 billion of equity commitments.

The Certeum transaction is subject to customary regulatory approval.