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AEW acquires logistics asset at Copenhagen’s main airport

Property investment manager AEW has acquired the Copenhagen Cargo Centre, an airside logistics asset in the Danish capital’s main airport, the largest in the Nordics and a main hub for freight companies. The seller was Palm Capital, acting on behalf of a separate account mandate backed by a German pension fund.

Situated directly adjacent to the airport’s runways, the asset has a total lettable area of 26,500 sq m, including 18,500 sq m of warehouse space and around 5,700 sq m of offices across three units, with 258 car parking spaces.

The complex was developed and expanded between 1992 and 2009. After acquiring it off-market in 2018, Palm Capital undertook a comprehensive asset management programme to reposition the asset. Now the property is almost fully let to high quality occupiers including DHL, PostNord and Worldwide Flight Services (WFS). The average let lease to expiry is seven years.

Copenhagen Cargo Asset

“Having acquired this property off-market in a distressed situation, we were able to execute on our business plan to create an institutional quality asset and thereby deliver strong returns for our investors,” said Reda Khatim, managing partner, Palm Capital.

In addition to the standing asset, Palm designed and obtained approval for a new 5,000 sq m warehouse to the southern part of the c. 67,500 sq m site, with direct airsite access. Construction is expected to begin at the end of 2021.

AEW will undertake a refurbishment of the vacant office space in line with the extension, as well as targeting a BREEAM “Very Good”’ rating for the whole asset in order to meet the mandate’s sustainability requirements.

“Copenhagen Cargo Centre is a strategically located logistics asset, enabling occupiers to cater to major cities crossing both Sweden and Denmark and providing rare direct access to the cargo area, as well as excellent multi-modal connections,” said Lars-Henning Pylla, fund Manager at AEW. “With a strong line-up of occupiers, this acquisition generates sustainable income, which aligns with our client’s investment objectives, as well as offering an opportunity to add further value through development, which is already attracting occupier interest.” 

AEW launched its first logistics fund in 1999 and is now a leading investor in the sector, which accounts for 16.2% of its €72.8 billion under management. In Europe, AEW manages a €6 billion portfolio of logistics assets, including light industrial, last-mile and big box units.

The group will continue to target logistics assets in strategic locations across Europe, said Nikos Koulouras, head of investments for private equity funds, AEW, but this latest investment “also forms part of our ambition to grow our footprint in the Nordics, not only in the logistics sector but also across residential and offices”.