Clarion sells Mexican industrial portfolio for $202m

The New York-based real estate investment manager’s sale of 22 industrial properties to a Mexican REIT marks the latest private equity real estate exit in the country. 

Clarion Partners has sold a 22-building industrial portfolio in Mexico to FIBRA Uno, a Mexican real estate investment trust, for $202 million. In addition to the 22 buildings, the investment manager also sold to Fibra Uno four land reserves totaling 67 acres in the Nuevo Leon and San Luis Potosí states.

Grupo Garza Ponce, a Mexican real estate developer and Clarion’s joint venture partner in the portfolio, contributed six additional properties to the transaction, which had a combined sale value of $275 million. The aggregate portfolio totals 2.8 million square feet of net rentable area across the metropolitan areas of Monterrey, Saltillo, Reynosa, Ciudad Juarez and San Luis Potosí. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

“Rising manufacturing costs in China and investor-friendly legislation in Mexico is encouraging tech, apparel and auto manufacturing firms to ‘re-shore’ production, which in turn has boosted demand for industrial real estate,” said Alejandro Cuadros, a vice president at Clarion and head of the transaction team, in a statement. “This strategic sale is typical of Clarion’s active portfolio management approach.”

Since 2005, Clarion has invested close to $1 billion of capital in Mexico through various funds, including the ING Clarion Lion Mexico Fund, which attracted more than $600 million in commitments in 2007. The firm’s investments in the country have been diversified by property type and region and include both acquisitions and development in the retail, industrial, residential and hospitality sectors throughout central Mexico, the coastal regions and along the US-Mexico border. It was unclear which funds held the investments sold to Fibra Uno.

“Clarion continues to see strong investment potential in Mexico and presently is exploring opportunities primarily in the retail, industrial and residential sectors,” added Onay Payne, director at Clarion, in an email to PERE.

Meanwhile, FIBRA Uno has been on a buying spree as of late, acquiring large property portfolios from a number of private equity real estate firms. In July, the REIT purchased 49 commercial real estate properties from MRP Group for 23.155 billion pesos ($1.81 billion), in the largest-ever real estate transaction in Mexico. The properties represented investments that MRP originally made on behalf of three of its private equity real estate funds.

In August, Walton Street Capital sold 34 properties totalling 520,000 square meters (5.6 million square feet) and with an aggregate value of $372 million to Fibra Uno. The properties primarily were held in Walton Street’s debut Mexico-focused private equity real estate fund, Walton Street Mexico Fund I. Fibra Uno was the first public REIT to begin trading on the Mexican Stock Exchange in 2011 and is the largest of its kind by market capitalization.