A consortium led by Logos Property has moved a step closer to buying Australia’s largest intermodal logistics facility for $1.67 billion after signing a binding agreement with the owner, logistics operator Qube.
Logos has joined with existing partners Ivanhoe Cambridge, AustralianSuper and NSW Treasury Corporation, as well as a new ally, France’s AXA IM Alts, to acquire Moorebank Logistics Park in southwestern Sydney, following up on a non-binding term sheet with Qube signed in February.
The MLP site includes 243 hectares (600 acres) of land to be developed into industrial property and infrastructure, including the potential for up to 850,000 square metres (9,149,324 square feet) of warehouse space adjacent to Australia’s biggest rail intermodal facilities with direct linkage to Port Botany, Sydney-based Logos said Monday in a release.
“This acquisition positions the Logos consortium at the heart of a logistics revolution that will capture powerful economic benefits as the MLP’s intermodal terminals ramp up, increasing the efficient transfer of goods from Port Botany to customers around Australia,” the partners said.
The consortium will acquire MLP for $1.67 billion, with an end estimated value of $4.2 billion once the site is fully developed. The acquisition, which is subject to various approvals, will increase Logos’s Australian and New Zealand assets under management to $11.5 billion after the transaction closes, likely within the next three months.
Logos describes MLP as the only available site in Sydney’s southern corridor able to accommodate built-to-suit warehouses. The anchor tenants, retailer Woolworths and household fittings maker Caesarstone, have already committed substantial capital to technology and fit-outs, Logos said.
Darren Searle, head of Australia and New Zealand at Logos, predicted that the benefits of the MLP site, which is larger than Sydney’s central business district, would extend beyond advantages to tenants. On completion, the Moorebank facility will move 1.5 million shipping containers a year by rail instead of road, which could take more than 2,600 heavy truck movements off Sydney’s roads each day, by the company’s estimates.
“By 2030, MLP is aiming to reduce Sydney and interstate truck travel by 243,000 kilometres (150,993 miles) per day, and lower carbon emissions by the equivalent of removing 11,000 vehicles from the road for a full year,” Searle said.
Qube Takes a Load Off
ASX-listed Qube will continue to operate the import-export terminal and interstate rail terminals at the MLP site under the new ownership.
In a February filing with the exchange, Qube said the sale of the property would allow the company to focus on its core logistics operations and reduce its capital spending obligations for MLP development, while retaining upside potential from the site from long-term growth in container volumes.
Warehouse specialist Logos, co-founded by John Marsh and Trent Iliffe in 2010, enjoys backing from global fund managers like Canada-based Ivanhoe Cambridge and Singapore’s ARA Asset Management. The company has over 8.8 million square metres of property owned and under development, with a total completed value in excess of $16 billion.
In an interview last month with MTD TV, Iliffe said the COVID-19 crisis had accelerated trends foreseen by the developer for a long time, with Asia Pacific’s e-commerce boom promoting warehouse properties to the status of essential infrastructure.
“The pandemic did obviously make some pretty big structural changes in the way we shop,” he said. “The fact that we’re 18 months almost into this now, it really has changed the patterns of shopping around the world and particularly in Asia.”