Heitman, NPS to buy DEXUS’ US warehouse portfolio

The Chicago-based real estate investment firm and the South Korean pension plan are in talks to acquire a 23-property, 6.5 million-square-foot portfolio of US industrial properties from the Australian property firm for a rumoured $575 million.

A partnership is in negotiations to purchase DEXUS Property Group’s remaining US industrial portfolio. In a statement, the Australian Securities Exchange-listed property firm and fund manager said: “DEXUS recently has entered into exclusive non-binding negotiations with a buyer for the sale of the majority of the remaining portfolio.” 

Although DEXUS declined to disclose the identity of the buyer, information from data provider Real Capital Analytics is stating that it is a joint venture between Chicago-based real estate investment firm Heitman and South Korea’s $320 billion state pension fund, the National Pension Service (NPS) of Korea. The venture is expected to buy the 23-property, 6.5 million-square-foot portfolio for a reported $575 million. Heitman declined to comment, and NPS could not be reached for comment at press time.

The bulk of the properties are located in Southern California, with the remainder in the Seattle area. The largest of the properties is the Whirlpool Warehouse at 3691 Perris Boulevard in Perris, California. That 1.7 million-square-foot warehouse is 100 percent occupied by global home appliance manufacturer and marketer Whirlpool.

This deal follows NPS acquiring a 50 percent stake in an Australian logistics portfolio from DEXUS. In August, it was announced that the Korean pension purchased the half share in a portfolio of 13 industrial properties at the Quarry in Greystanes, Sydney; the DEXUS Industrial Estate in Laverton North, Melbourne; and the Target facility at Altona, Melbourne. The transaction valued the assets at A$360 million (€306.7 million; $377.8 million). 

Separately, DEXUS sold a portfolio of 69 US warehouses valued at $820.4 million to The Blackstone Group in April. The Australian investment firm received bids from at least three firms for the 17 million-square-foot portfolio, with Blackstone providing the winning offer.

In its statement, DEXUS added that its objective “is to exit from the US market over the next 12 to 24 months and has recently undertaken a marketing campaign to divest the remaining portfolio.” The firm invests in offices and retail properties, as well as logistics, and manages A$13 billion in total assets.