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Crossbay acquires €60m French last-mile logistics portfolio

Crossbay, the first pan-European urban logistics platform to target single-user distribution centres, has acquired a fully-let €60m portfolio of nine properties located across France in an off-market transaction.

All the assets are situated in prime infill locations in core French cities, including Paris, Lyon, Nantes and Orleans.

The 50,000 sq. m. portfolio builds on Crossbay's growing footprint in France, which remains a key target market for acquisitions, with the platform targeting Ђ500m in assets under management in France within the next two years.

Crossbay has a seven-strong French team, having recently hired Augustin Olivier from STAM Europe, where he was an investment manager focused on logistics real estate.

Marco Riva, head of Crossbay and logistics at MARK, said: “The successful off-market acquisition of a prime last mile logistics portfolio in the middle of a pandemic is a real testament to the strength and capabilities of Crossbay's France team.”

"We have invested heavily in creating a genuinely pan-European network of on-the-ground teams who are able to source attractive opportunities like these and following our successful capital raise last year and the debt facility with Citi, we are looking to grow Crossbay's footprint in core western European markets such as France."

Launched in May 2020 by leading private equity real estate investment manager MARK, Crossbay was designed to enable institutional investors such as pension funds and insurers to grow their exposure to the fast-growing last mile logistics sector.

In December, MARK announced a successful capital raise for Crossbay, securing Ђ550m in equity commitments from a global range of investors. Investors included the Townsend Group, CBRE GI, Credit Suisse, Nuveen and QInvest LLC.

The fundraise was followed by a €400m debt facility from investment bank Citi in January to help further fund the platform's growth and expansion.

Crossbay focuses specifically on single-user distribution centres in locations no more than a 90-minute journey to the centre of the nearest city. Single-tenant assets require less intensive asset management than multi-let industrial units and are less exposed to the performance of the wider economy than larger ‘big box’ warehouses.

The platform’s 500,000 sq m portfolio hosts a high-profile tenant base, counting leading 3PLs such as FedEx and DHL, as well as major e-commerce brands like Amazon, as occupiers.

The last mile logistics sector has seen accelerated growth as a result of Covid-19, with repeated lockdowns introducing new demographics to online shopping.

In Europe's five largest economies - France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain, which are all countries where Crossbay has a presence - the combined value of online sales is expected to exceed Ђ345bn by 2023 according to Mintel.

In Western Europe more widely, online sales are expected to make up 15.6 percent of total sales by 2023 according to GlobalData. This is up from just 9.7 per cent in 2019.

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