Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) has signed an agreement to invest $450m (€330m) into a new joint venture with Prologis, while PGGM has invested $300m into a new arrangement with Behringer Harvard.

The investment by Norges is part of a $1bn joint venture with Prologis in the US. 

Norges holds a 45% interest in the JV, and Prologis the remainder.

Karsten Kallevig, CIO for real estate at Norges, said: “We are investing in a solid portfolio of logistics assets close to key transportation hubs.”

The transaction between Norges and Prologis is expected to close before 28 February. 

The portfolio to be acquired is unencumbered by debt, and no financing will be involved in the closing.

The assets in the transaction total 12.8m square feet (1.2m sqm) of industrial and logistics properties in the US. 

The assets comprise 66 properties located in eight states and nine markets, including Southern California, Pennsylvania, the San Francisco Bay Area, New Jersey, Las Vegas, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta and Miami.

In addition to the venture on the existing portfolio, both parties have announced the signing of a definitive agreement to form the Prologis US Logistics Venture (USLV). 

This relationship anticipates adding to the initial portfolio over time with future investments in the US.

It has not been publicly disclosed how much additional capital will be invested in the USLV venture going forward. 

The idea would be to acquire logistics properties in the country in gateway markets over the next several years.

Norges and Prologis formed the €2.4bn Prologis European Logistics Partners Sari in 2013. 

This relationship consisted initially of 195 properties in Europe totalling 4.5m sqm of assets.

Meanwhile, the capital from PGGM has gone into the PGGM Private Real Estate Fund. 

Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, the real estate manager of the fund, contributed $360m of its own equity to the venture. 

With 55% debt, the venture’s total capitalisation is around $1.6bn-1.7bn.

The ownership stake in the venture is 55% to Behringer Harvard and 45% to PGGM.

Much of the capital has already been placed into an existing apartment portfolio in the US owned by Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I. 

There are a total of 13 assets in the portfolio located in a variety of markets including Florida, Virginia, Dallas, Houston, Denver and Atlanta.

Mark Alfieri, president and COO at Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, said: “Our plan would be to invest the capital in development projects. 

“Our company has only acquired one existing property the past two years. There is a tremendous amount of competition for core apartment assets, and pricing is very aggressive. 

“The market demographics are strong now for apartment development and should remain that way for the near future.”

Alfieri also pointed out the big difference in returns for developments versus core assets.

“The floor for returns for developments are around a 12% net IRR on invested capital,” he said.

“This compares to a 7-7.5% net IRR for the acquisition of existing properties.”