Brian Mende, CPG is a vice president at GRS Group. He can be reached at 845.786.9092 or via email at email@example.com
At this rate, there aren’t going to be many possible mega portfolio acquisitions left to make in commercial real estate’s industrial sector.
Prologis recently announced it is acquiring fellow REIT Liberty Property Trust for $12.6 billion. The deal gives Prologis, the largest owner of industrial commercial real estate, a 107 million-square-foot portfolio, which will strengthen the company in important strategic geographic regions, including the Lehigh Valley and central part Pennsylvania, Chicago, Houston, New Jersey and Southern California. As part of the deal, Prologis plans to sell of $3.5 billion of non-core assets, including Liberty’s office 4.9-million-square-foot office portfolio, which includes the iconic Comcast Center skyscraper in Philadelphia.
The Prologis deal follows another major purchase in the industrial space. Private-equity giant The Blackstone Group in late September said it is buying Colony Industrial for $5.9 billion. Just months before that, Blackstone bought GLP for $18.7 billion. Its industrial holdings will total about 700 million square feet after the Colony deal closes.
Upon completion of the Prologis-Liberty deal, the former will have about 900 million square feet of industrial space around the world, keeping it at the top in terms of amount of logistics space owned. Prologis and Blackstone now dwarf their closest competitors in the space.
And being big has been great for Prologis in terms of financial performance. The San Francisco-based company’s third quarter was very strong. The company’s net earnings came in at $451 million, up from $346 million in last year’s third quarter. Total revenue hit $942 million, up from $682 million, and management recently increased the REIT’s earnings and FFO guidance for the full fiscal year.
Even if there aren’t that many big players out there for Prologis and others to acquire, that doesn’t mean the growth of industrial real estate will slow down. After all, most of its growth and record-low vacancy rates are fueled by ecommerce, one industry that is expected to continue having substantial growth.
This year, research firm eMarketer says global ecommerce sales will increase 20.7 percent, to just over $3.5 trillion. That’s expected to grow to $5 trillion by 2021, and all of those goods need to be warehoused somewhere, whether it’s in the form of new industrial buildings or the repurposing of other spaces, such as empty big box stores.
Whatever form that takes, expect a leading owner like Prologis to be at the forefront of continued warehouse and distribution center expansion.
About GRS Group
GRS Group is a leading provider of commercial real estate (“CRE”) services worldwide. With offices across the United States, Europe, and affiliates around the globe, GRS Group provides local market knowledge with a global perspective for institutional real estate investors, occupiers and lenders worldwide. The GRS Group team has evaluated and advised on over $1 trillion in CRE transactions.
Through the company’s proprietary management process, Global Services Connection, GRS Group delivers an integrated suite of services including Financial Advisory, Transaction Management, Assessment and Title Insurance. We provide a single point of contact, capable of leveraging the GRS Group portfolio of companies and delivering customized solutions to assist our clients in achieving their investment goals.