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Osborne Clarke advises InfraRed on sale of £320m industrial portfolio to Blackstone/M7


Written on 23 February 2018

International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised InfraRed Capital Partners, a leading global investment manager focused on infrastructure and real estate, on the disposal of its £320 million UK light industrial portfolio to Blackstone and M7 real estate. 

The portfolio comprises 4.5m sq ft of light industrial space across 40 properties located mostly in the North West and the Midlands along the M6 corridor. InfraRed created the powerhouse portfolio through multiple acquisitions, the first of which took place in 2014.

InfraRed selected the underlying properties because of “compelling supply-demand fundamentals locally, strong income profile and opportunities to enhance value through vacancy reductions, lease extensions and refurbishments.”

Tim Simmonds, Practice Group Head of Projects, Real Estate and Finance at Osborne Clarke, said:

“It’s testament to the capabilities of Osborne Clarke’s transaction and asset management teams that the entire portfolio was sold within two weeks of agreeing heads of terms. We supported the acquisition of part of the portfolio and then, through Osborne Clarke Solutions, developed innovative asset management tools to enable InfraRed to manage the portfolio more efficiently. The rapid sale wouldn’t have been possible without the Osborne Clarke Solutions platform that enabled the buyer to undertake a deep analysis of the portfolio.”

James Cooper, Director, Real Estate at InfraRed Capital Partners, said:

“InfraRed has been investing in the light industrial sector since the mid-1990s and we are delighted to have successfully completed the aggregation of this regional portfolio over the last 4 years. We have added significant value to the portfolio through asset management initiatives – during our hold period we increased the portfolio income by approximately 20% through completing a good proportion of our asset management initiatives ahead of time. The UK Industrial market remains highly sought after by investors seeking defensive income underpinned by a shortage of available space plus the ongoing expansion of e-commerce and last mile delivery. This sector remains a core part of our pan-European investment strategy.”

A cross-sector team from Osborne Clarke advised on the transaction which was led by Tim Simmonds, Partner and Practice Group Head of Projects, Real Estate and Finance. Associate Director Alison Riddle advised on corporate real estate with Associate Nick Dashfield and Trainee Solicitor Oliver Woods. Partners Ian Wilkinson and Louise Cartwright, Senior Associate Joanna Risdale and Associate Hayley Taylor advised on real estate. Partner Tracey Wright and Senior Associate Elizabeth Shanahan advised on tax and Partner Madeleine Clark and Senior Associate Dale Roberts advised on banking matters.

Osborne Clarke is a recognised industry leader in real estate providing a comprehensive lifecycle service and advising major real estate industry organisations, ranging from developers and investors to property funds and corporate occupiers.