Privately-held investment firm Cain International has signed one of the largest financing agreements in the UK logistics sector this year by securing a £420 mln (€505 mln) loan facility from US asset management giant Blackstone.
The five-year senior loan will be used to refinance Cain’s acquisition of a 3.25 mln sq ft logistics portfolio completed last week as well as to fund the development of this portfolio with the aim to double the size over time.
‘This deal marks Cain’s entry into the logistics sector and reflects our strong belief in the long-term attractiveness of this market,’ Daniel Harris, senior managing director and head of European investment for Cain International, told PropertyEU in an interview.
While Harris could not disclose details of the loan facility, he said the financials of the debt package were not the only element that attracted them to the lender. ‘We are looking to grow the portfolio significantly in the near future so it was important for us to find a provider with whom we would be able to grow over time and increase the facility size as well. This is why Blackstone is a very attractive partner for us,’ he said.
Under the acquisition, which was first agreed in March, Cain took over a portfolio of 22 assets across the UK from developer Firethorn Trust. The group paid £550 mln (€659 mln) for a package of sites totalling 3.25 mln sq ft including two newly built developments, plus five consented land sites that are on course for completion this year and the first half of 2023.
The loan facility will now allow the group to bring forward the development of the two projects as well as the five consented land sites.
Harris: ‘We acquired this portfolio because its scale and quality strongly aligned with our ambition to grow our reach in the UK logistics sector in a meaningful and strategic way. Working with a partner of Blackstone’s calibre is a strong endorsement of this approach and we look forward to working with the team there and with Firethorn Trust on the delivery of this portfolio in the coming 12 months.’
As part of the transaction, Firethorn Trust will develop the remaining sites and act as leasing and asset manager across the portfolio on behalf of Cain.
Firethorn was formed in 2018 and sin then has acquired 190 acres across 7 sites and is delivering over 3.25 mln ft2 across the UK.
Cain was founded in 2014 and manages $10.8 bn (€9.72 bn) of assets internationally.