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Norwegian oil fund buys £250m UK logistics portfolio

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EUROPE – The Norwegian Pension Fund Global has acquired a nearly £250m (€296m) logistics portfolio from the UK's LondonMetric.

A statement by the UK real estate investment trust (REIT) said the £247m sale price meant the deal, agreed jointly with Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) and Prologis Europe, would result in a net initial yield of 6.25% on the 11-property portfolio.

Only one of the assets – the Focus Distribution Centre in Staffordshire – was wholly owned by LondonMetric, resulting in the REIT being paid £138m, while the remainder of the proceeds went to Green Park Investments, joint venture partner in the remaining 10 UK assets.

The fund, created by a merger of London & Stamford Property and Metric Property earlier this year, said the 2.4m square-foot portfolio was largely let to third-party logistics companies, with its rental yield totaling £6m a year.

LondonMetric chairman Patrick Vaughan said: "This disposal is in line with our strategy to focus on distribution assets in the retail sector.

"We know this sector well and believe this company derives significant benefit from our strong retailer relationships."

The portfolio's acquisition is not NBIM's first foray into logistics.

In December last year, it bought a 50% share in a pan-European logistics portfolio owned by Prologis.

The €1.2bn deal also saw the fund's asset manager become its largest private capital investor.

The NOK4.1trn (€558m) oil fund recently admitted it would take years for it to deploy the 5% of targeted assets into real estate, having only received permission to invest in the asset class three years ago.

Neither NBIM nor Prologis could be reached for comment.

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