GLL completes 2011’s biggest French logistics investment

The Munich-based real estate fund management business has purchased a portfolio of eight logistics assets from AEW Europe in a deal valued at €177m.

GLL Real Estate Partners, the Munich-based real estate fund management business, has completed France’s largest industrial property investment this year, it was announced.

According to a statement by selling party AEW Europe, the €177 million sale was for an eight-property portfolio of warehouses from its Curzon Capital Partners II Fund (CCPII).

CCPII is a value-added fund focused on logistics and offices predominantly in Germany, Spain and Italy, which closed on €357 million in 2005.

GLL, which was originally formed in 2000 by three senior executives of HypoVereinsbank, Germany’s then largest real estate bank, in a joint venture with Lend Lease Corporation and Italian insurance giant Assicurazioni Generali, acquired the portfolio on behalf of “one of its fund accounts”, according to the announcement. The firm currently manages more than €4 billion of real estate across Western Europe, Central Europe and the US.

GLL’s chief investment officer, Barry McGowan, described the deal, the firm’s fourth in European Union countries, as a precursor to further investments in North and South America. It invests capital on behalf of pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign entities, according to its marketing literature.

Rob Wilkinson, McGowan’s counterpart at AEW, said the sale reflected the firm taking advantage of strong demand for core logistics assets in France. Merrick Marshall, head of asset management at the firm, added that the sale was helped by rebounding values in the sector. “We believe this is a very opportune time to sell some exceptional assets, both in terms of quality and location, and to lock-in robust returns for our investors,” Marshall said.