Broad Stroke

Fortress REIT acquires key European logistics assets
Written by Howard Penny, Head of Corporate Finance, Fortress REIT Limited

We recently acquired two modern high-quality logistics parks in strategic locations in Poland. Ideally located to supply high-growth western European economies, these signature acquisitions deepen and extend the investment proposition of South Africa’s leading supplier of quality, prime located logistics real estate.

In addition to being South Africa’s largest owner and developer of premium-grade logistics parks and a sizeable portfolio of convenience and commuter-oriented retail, Fortress is also the largest shareholder in NEPI Rockcastle Plc. active in high-growth retail in Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and Eastern Europe is one of the most exciting long-term logistics and warehousing investment propositions globally. The region is often referred to as the new Silk Road as Asian and Western European suppliers and manufacturers capitalise on the regions highly skilled but lower-cost human capital. Central and Eastern Europe’s geographic proximity and infrastructure-rich access to high-value Western European economies only deepens the investment case for logistics real estate in the region.

The first two acquisitions in Poland are Waimea Group’s two logistics parks in Bydgoszcz and Stargard, ideally situated in regional industrial zones benefitting from strong infrastructure. Major roads nearby allow for fast transportation of goods to businesses in Poland. Both developments are close to Germany presenting a powerful supply proposition for clients targeting Europe’s largest economy.

Fortress’s entry into the Polish logistics market leveraged its established expertise in logistics and related development in the construction of state-of-the-art logistics parks. Waimea’s 48 300 square metre logistics park at Bydgoszcz can be expanded to 91 000 square metres. Waimea’s logistics park at Stargard includes an existing hall of 11 500 square meters with the potential to expand to approximately 80 000 square metres.

As retail competition in the advanced economies of Western Europe is increasingly determined by the ability to successfully support e-commerce via omnichannel, growth in the logistics real estate sector in Central and Eastern Europe is set to sustain for decades to come. A strong and able logistics presence in the region is, today, a key determinant of competitivity - and investment - for any global real estate business.