EUROPE - A joint venture between UK logistics company Segro and private equity fund manager Moorfield has acquired all assets from Hermes Real Estate's UK Logistics Fund for £314.7m (€374m).

Under the 50:50 joint venture, formed as a limited partnership, AUM £5.4bn Segro will manage the portfolio, which comprises 14 prime assets and one development project - most of them in southern England.

The average remaining lease length in the portfolio is 13.3 years.

According to an RNS from Segro, the vacancy rate is 16% of rental value on two assets in the North of England. The annual rental return from the fund is £18m.

The acquisition follows Segro's announcement earlier this month that it would focus on pulling in third-party capital, in addition to recycling capital more actively, reducing leverage and targeting growth areas.

Segro and Moorfield will each contribute £65m to the joint venture, which also has a £189m five-year debt facility with insurer MetLife and Dekabank.

This will be Segro's second major insurer-backed deal. In October, Aviva stepped in to provide a five-year refinancing package for the Airport Property Partnership, in which it was a joint-venture partner, to replace maturing debt facilities from a four-bank consortium.

All parties involved in the deal declined to comment today, but a source close to the buyers said the partnership set up for the acquisition from Hermes was a one-off that was unlikely seek additional deals.

He added that finance from insurers would become "more and more relevant to the sector" as bank funding dried up.

Hermes declined to comment on why it and partners Legal & General and LaSalle Investment Management had chosen to sell.

The pension fund manager set up the Jersey-domiciled fund, managed up to now by Legal & General's Jonathan Holland, in 2006.