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Blackstone Group buys logistics real estate fund for $588m

By Mensholong Lepcha

05:19, 21 January 2022

Employee drives a forklift truck in a warehouse
Employee drives a forklift truck in a warehouse – Photo: Shutterstock

Individual investors have bagged hefty returns from their subscription in a European logistics real estate fund which was acquired by US-based private equity firm Blackstone Group for €520m ($588.9m) on Thursday amid booming demand for logistics and e-commerce solutions in the post-pandemic era. 

Singapore-based private market exchange ADDX used blockchain technology and smart contracts to fractionalise and tokenise units of the Elite Logistics Fund I to reduce the minimum investment size to €20,000 from €1m, said the press release.

Individual accredited investors on ADDX who had subscribed to the fund in 2020 have received 98% of the proceeds from the sale to Blackstone, said ADDX. Elite Logistics Fund I achieved annualised returns of more than double its 12% per annum target following the sale of all 18 properties to Blackstone, the exchange added.

Logistics assets sought after

The logistics real estate fund was invested in logistics warehouses in the UK, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Spain and its tenants included the likes of DHL, Pepsi, FM Logistics, Fiege, Havi Logistics and Next.

“With the pandemic, the demand for space in logistics and e-commerce facilities skyrocketed, as supply chain disruptions prompted companies to increase inventory levels for food, essential goods and other consumer products, to ensure they could meet demand consistently,” said Enoch Tan, portfolio director of Elite Logistics Fund I.

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“Even prior to the pandemic, we were bullish about logistics because of the broader expansion of the e-commerce industry and new demand for space in the UK arising from Brexit,” added Tan.

Logistics real estate sectors expected to grow further

Tan said that logistics assets are hugely sought after due to their consistently low rates of rental delays and defaults.

“In contrast, rent collection for retail and office space plummeted to under 50% across Europe,” said Tan.

ADDX said that the e-commerce and logistics real estate sectors were expected to grow further, citing a report by Prologis Research, which projected that the global e-commerce penetration rate is to rise to over 25% in 2025 from around 15% in 2019.

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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