Macquarie and Peel JV targets £1bn of UK logistics

The Australian investment bank unit and UK property company will seed the platform initially, but will seek capital from institutional investors in order to reach the £1 billion target.

Sydney-based capital advisor Macquarie Capital and Manchester-based real estate development firm Peel Land and Property Group have launched a UK logistics joint venture with an ambition of growing out a portfolio of assets worth £1 billion (€1.4 billion; $1.6 billion).

The initial seed capital from the pair will be “measured in £10s of millions,” according to a source familiar with the matter, but the platform, named Peel Logistics, but will seek institutional capital in a bid to grow further.

“Our shared vision is that Peel Logistics will evolve into a full service enterprise undertaking the development, ownership and management of logistics assets alongside institutional capital partners,” commented James Whittaker, development director for Peel Land and Property Group.

The joint venture has already made its first investment, a 280,000 square foot port development which is located next to the Manchester Ship Canal, the M60 and the M62 motorways. Port Salford will become the UK's first inland port facility and distribution park accessible by road, rail and short-sea shipping.

Peel Logistics has also submitted plans for a 175,000 square foot speculative development at Liverpool International Business Park.

Both schemes are well positioned to benefit from Peel Ports' £300 million investment in the new Liverpool2 deepwater container terminal at the Port of Liverpool, which is expected to drive additional demand for logistics space in the North West.

Peel Logistics also has access to around 250 acres of land assets of consented developable land. According to the firms, this could deliver in the short term approximately 5 million square feet of logistics capacity across multiple sites, including Liverpool International Business Park, Port Salford, Robin Hood Airport, and Knowsley.

“The Peel Logistics platform aims to leverage not only our extensive land bank but also the Peel Group's wider links to the supply chain and logistics via our longstanding and ongoing involvement in the port, airport and retail property sectors in the UK,” said Steven Underwood, chief executive of the Peel Group.