Thor Nears $300M Logistics Portfolio Acquisition in UK
Joseph Sitt‘s Thor Equities has been eyeing a pivot to industrial and logistics assets for more than a year: Last summer, a company spokesman told CO that it’s “actively looking for industrial properties throughout the U.S.” But its latest move marks an outside-the-box commitment to that goal—with a big investment outside the U.S. border.
The company is on the cusp of paying 240 million pounds—about $300 million—to buy a set of seven logistics assets in England, according to React News, a London-based real estate news site. A source with knowledge of the deal, speaking anonymously because the person wasn’t authorized to discuss the transaction, said the sale amount could actually be $50 million more.
The 2.2-million-square-foot portfolio is concentrated in the country’s Midlands region, with six of the seven sites standing in cities and towns such as Birmingham, Leicestershire and Daventry. A seventh, a 443,000-square-foot warehouse leased to supermarket chain Sainsbury‘s, is in Hoddesdon, about 15 miles north of London. Tenants at the other sites include DHL, Turkish appliance manufacturer Beko, and DSV, a Danish shipping company.
Segro, a British real estate investment trust, is the seller. The company had said in its latest annual earnings report that it was hoping to sell off between 150 million and 250 million pounds worth of property this year, with plans to use the money to fund a development pipeline that includes 14 million square feet of new projects, as per React News.
A Thor spokeswoman declined to comment. Segro representatives could not be reached by press time.
Thor has said it saw the writing on the wall in New York City’s retail landscape in the early 2010s and decided to pull back from the city, looking elsewhere to reinvest. But that didn’t stop the firm from making a string of more than a dozen New York City acquisitions in recent years, including assets in Soho, Harlem and Brooklyn.
Even so, Thor’s shift to an industrial emphasis is on view on this side of the Atlantic too. After initially planning to build an office complex at one Brooklyn site, 280 Richards Street, Thor shifted gears and now is at work on a last-mile logistics facility there. The company also elevated a pair of new managing directors, Toby Cooper and Luke Condon, in January to run its operations in Europe. The previous executive with that responsibility left Thor last year for Trophaeum Asset Partners, a European retail landlord.
Update: This story has been amended to reflect new information about the potential acquisition price.